The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, Dr. Bamba Banja said that The Gambia government under the leadership of President Jammeh is determined to work with their development partners in combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing within the sub-region in general and The Gambia in particular.
He assured that the Ministry of Fisheries of The Gambia would continue to consolidate collaboration and cooperation among government authorities, communities and civil society organisations in the fight against IUU fishing.
The Fisheries PS made these remarks recently during a meeting of the Technical Committee on Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) organized by the Department of Fisheries in collaboration with the Sub-Regional Fisheries Committee (SRFC) held at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.
The meeting that gathered participants from The Gambia, Cape Verde, Mauritania and Senegal is aimed at validating two strategic documents to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing amongst others.
Dr. Banja said that as co-founder of the SRFC, The Gambia is very pleased to be in the forefront in the fight against IUU fishing and is therefore quite delighted to host this important workshop at which strategic documents against IUU fishing are to be validated.
According to him, the validation of these two strategic documents are welcome development and could not have come at a better time, particularly, when Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major challenge threatening fish stocks and marine biodiversity.
He told the gathering that IUU fishing activities are happening at a time when there are clear signs of over-exploitation of important fish stocks worldwide.
The Fisheries PS affirmed that concerted efforts are required to curb and totally eliminate IUU activities in the world and in particular the sub-region.
He noted that the sustainable management and development of the fisheries resources requires collective responsibilities of their respective governments and development partners.
Since the present workshop has brought together directors of fisheries administration, directors of fisheries surveillance, the legal adviser of respective member countries, the national WARFP coordinators, we have no doubt that the documents before you will be reviewed with utmost scrutiny.
He expressed optimism that the weeklong workshop will be valuable as documents on MCS convention, MCS financing, defined plans of action as well as other important issues will be validated before eventual submission to the coordinating committee of the SRFC.
Acting Permanent Secretary of SRFC, Madam Marieme Diagne Talla described the forum as very important as they are to discuss some of the problems on fishing in the sub-regions.
The documents they are going to validate, she said, are aimed to fight Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing within their sub-region.