By Rohey Jadama
They have been raising these and other concerns when this reporter visited their place on Thursday, 31st August, 2014.
The fisher folks also raised concerns over the quality of fuel they use to run their motor board engines which they said is of poor quality and affecting their machines.
“We use about 120 -140 liters of fuel per expedition, but the fuel which is being sold to us is not of good quality at all and it makes us to take our machines to the mechanics for repairs every two weeks,” said one of them.
They said the matter was raised with the company that sells them the fuel but that nothing has been done yet in terms of providing quality fuel.
They also claimed that the area on the beach where some women used to dry fish has been allocated to some Chinese since last year and that this has affected many of them
The fisherfolks explained that they ‘white fish’ and “calamareh” (octopus).
“We sell most of the fish to the sea food companies and the rest to the “Bana-Bana” (middle persons),” said a fisherfolk.
They said the cost of fishing net this year is expensive as it hikes to one hundred and twenty thousand dalasi (D120, 000) compared to last year’s price which was eighty-thousand dalasi (D80, 0000).
However, this reporter proceeded to interview the women fish dryers at the same site.
Talking to one of the women who dry fish, she explained that they normally go to different fish landing sites to buy fish and then dry them. According to her, the customers are coming to patronize them but that the demand is higher than the supply as they do not have sufficient fish to sell all the time.
Commenting on the concerns raised by some of the fisherfolks at the Brufut beach, Madam Fatou Corr, the Fisheries Department Officer attached to the place, said that selling of fuel and fishing nets is not under their purview. She said private companies are responsible for the sale of fuel and nets and as such they are the right people to respond to the concerns raised on these particular items.
Madam Corr explained that they do receive complaints from fisherfolks concerning the problems they encounter and that when a concern is brought to their attention, they do promptly address it at their level or forward it to the department if it is beyond their capacity to handle.
“Not long ago, a fishing trawler was reported to have destroyed the net of some fisherfolks and we addressed the issue. We normally sit down as a team, discussed the problem and then write a letter to the department. We would try to know the cost involve and then compensate the concern fisherman,” she said.
The Fisheries Department official said the place being used by the Chinese to build boats was not sold to the Chinese. She said they are there to build fishing boats and have even employed some young people in their business.