By Rohey Jadama
Fishers at Gunjur fish landing site say they have been experiencing very heavy storms which has destroyed at least 2 fishing boats in the area.
Speaking to this reporter in an interview on Tuesday 12 August, 2014 the fishers lamented the destruction of their boats by heavy storm, which, according to them, could have been prevented had a truck been available to pull the boats from the sea when the storm started.
Abdul Aziz Njie, a fisher said fishing at sea is very difficult during the months of August and September. He noted that on Monday, two boats were destroyed by the wind which has made life difficult for them, considering that the cost of a small boat is in the order of D85,000 and a big one is bought at D125,000.
He said that Senegal has a truck that is readily available that helps to push more than five boats out of sea when there is storm, but that this is not available in The Gambia. “I catch a variety of “kobos” (Bonga) and “yabouye” (sardinella) which I sell to middlepersons and fish smokers,” said Njie.
He added that the increment of fuel prices is impacting on their business.
“We use 150 litres per expedition which costs D8250, which is very expensive because even though our catches are many, our customers are not paying us good price,” said Nijie.
For his part, Ousman Jobe, another fisher said storms pose a serious problem, adding that they don’t normally go to sea when it is windy and foggy. He said he catches a variety of fishes such as catfish ’sumpat’,’futaa’,’yereeda’ and sole fish which he sells to a sea food company and middlepersons.
He also complained that trawlers at sea always destroy their fishing nets which affect them immensely, considering that fishing nets are expensive.
They said they would like to see the problems caused by the big vessels addressed and would also like to have access to credits to facilitate their businesses.