The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Lamin Jawara, has said the fisheries department has a strong collaboration with the stakeholders, particularly the national fisheries platform.
He was speaking at the Go-wamer steering committee meeting of the sub-regional member states of The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone, held at the Atlantic Hotel.
The main objective of the project is to contribute to poverty reduction and strengthen food security in coastal and marine communities of West Africa through the improved governance and promotion of the adoption of best practices for sustainable utilisation of marine and coastal resources in the eco-region.
He said the government has already taken operational steps to ensure that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing was dramatically reduced through participatory surveillance of fishing waters, create conservation area and enforce fisheries management regulation.
According to the PS Jawara, the national fisheries platform supported by the Go-wamer project has established regional and district committees in all the administrative regions of the country to promote good governance and adoption of best practice of sustainable management of fisheries resource.
He said several workshops have been held in The Gambia to assess the index of governance of marine and coastal resource by key stakeholders under the auspices of the sub-regional fisheries commission.
He divulged that the assessment of governance of marine and coastal resource protected areas has revealed national index 0.45, which is rated as very good.
This showed that the management of marine and coastal resource is increasingly moving towards public participation and involvement, he stated.
He said the government and people of The Gambia appreciate the achievement of the Go-wamer project, particularly in the provision of petrol boat for regular participatory surveillance of coastal and marine protected areas.
He disclosed that the project has supported the development of management plan for Tanbi National Wetland complex and BAO bolong Wetland Reserve for sustainable management of marine protected areas.
It has also provided support to the national fisheries platform and for the provision of consultative meeting with stakeholders to discuss bye laws for the sustainable management and conservation of fisheries resource.
He said the government also appreciates the establishment of oyster farms for 50 household through TRY Oyster Women Association in three oyster harvesting communities.
The Go-wamer project has also registered achievement in regulating mesh size of fishing net targeting Bonga, by replacing inappropriate nets with appropriate ones for thirty fisheries communities.