Fishmongers within the Greater Banjul Area on Tuesday concluded a two-day restitution session for module 4 management of organization, equipment and infrastructure, communication and advocacy at the fishery department in Banjul.
The two-day meeting was organized and funded by the West African Association for the Development of Artisanal Fisheries (WADAF), a sub regional association based in Senegal.
WADAF has been implementing the project entitled: “Strengthening fisheries good governance within the artisanal fisheries professional organizations in the 7 member countries of the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (CRSP) in West Africa (Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, and Sierra Leone).
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the project coordinator of WADAF Aminata Mbengue, said the three-year project that runs from December 2015 to November 2018, was co-financed by FDA, CCFD / Terre Solidaire.
WADAF is part of a vision to strengthen fisheries governance in West Africa and to improve the participation of artisanal fisheries professional organizations in public fisheries policies and the sustainable development of fisheries.
She said the project aims at strengthening the professional and political skills of Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organization (AFPOs) as well as their autonomy in order to improve their capacities to influence public fisheries policies in the 7 countries covered by the Sub Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC).
According to her, the training was one of the flagship activities of the project, and in the framework, twelve training sessions have been organised for 45 fishers, fish wholesalers and fish processors from AFPOs.
The training sessions focused on five modules; management of marine and coastal ecosystem and co-management of fisheries (M1); international, regional, sub-regional and national trade and impacts on Artisanal fisheries professions (M2); Management of organizations, equipment and infrastructure (M4) and Communication and Advocacy (M5).
For his part, the executive secretary of WADAF, Moussa Mbengue, informed the gathering that the objective was to enable Gambia’s trained leaders to share the knowledge gained from the training sessions in Modules 4 and 5 with other AFPOs members and project stakeholders in order to strengthen their skills in organization management and improve the functioning of AFPOs.
He said that the aim was also to strengthen the skills of the participants in communication and advocacy in order to help them actively contribute to public policies on artisanal fishing.
He said one of the expected outcomes of the training was to educate the participants about the environment of artisanal fisheries professional organization in West Africa in general and The Gambia in particular.
In declaring the forum open, Biran Faye, deputizing for the director of fisheries, thanked WADAF for bringing the project to The Gambia with the aim to enhance the knowledge of fishmongers on the management of fisheries sector.
He said the importance attached to the project could not be over emphasized as it would address some of their burdens at the fishing sector.