The Department of Parks and Wildlife Management in collaboration with RAMPAO on Monday began a five day regional training on Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) fisheries standard tools for sustainable fisheries in West Africa.
The training which is currently ongoing at a local hotel is funded by MAVA Foundation Pour LA Nature. Official says it is aimed at supporting sustainable fisheries of small pelagics in Management Protected Areas (MPAs) and other protected areas in West Africa.
Carlos Montero Castano, accessibility manager, Developing World and Accessibility Science and Standards Team, spoke at length on the significance of the forum, while urging the participants to participate well with a view to enabling them achieve the objectives of the training.
He added: “We want to try and help improve the management of the small pelagics resources which are significant socio-economically not only environmentally to the region.”
“We are open to interact with all of you within the project and many others. We want to establish the network of collaboration in the near future with the fisheries sector and also the government because they are the decision makers,” he stated, saying The Gambia is one of their key collaborators especially the fisheries and the environmental department.
Nuha Jammeh, focal person of RAMPAO at the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management, applauded MSC and others for their remarkable effort towards developing this important project together with their colleagues at RAMPAO.
Mr. Jammeh reflected on the project, conservation and sustainable management of small pelagics in marine protected areas, saying at RAMPAO most of the conservation measures are taken out of protected areas. “So, they thought protected areas play a significant role in terms of providing habitants and other conducive environment for small pelagics.”
Ousainou Touray, representing the minister of Environment, dwelled on the importance of marine protected areas. He added: “Having the MSC fisheries standard tool training in the country cannot be over emphasised. The training will avail the opportunity for the country to establish a pool of experts so that whatever we do, we are not sourcing it outside the country.”
He said to enhance the fisheries and national resources; The Gambia benefited from proceeds from the GEF 6 and took around six million dollars in order to develop a project that will assist the country to establish two very important marine protected areas.
“Presently, we are experiencing lot of problems more especially about this fish meal factories that we have in the country. Today, most of the participants are attending an event so that they can at least discourage the government in licensing new factories.”
The training, he went on, has come at a right time, for the fact that it would give us the tool so that ‘we can be able to manage the resources that we have in the country. “We didn’t have mineral in the country so it’s important for us to protect our natural resources.”