By: Modou Kanteh &Mamuna Jarjou
Russia has expressed interest to invest in fishing in the Gambian waters and investing in the aquaculture industry. This interest was made known to officials from the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matter (MoFWR-NAMs) who attended the Global Fishery and Seafood Expo in the city of St Petersburg, Russia from 21-23 September 2022.
In an exclusive interview with the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries Mrs. Fanta BS Manneh, said the Russian head of fisheries had reminded the Gambian officials about a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Gambia and Russia a few years ago in the area of fishing. DPS Manneh said the Gambian delegation would revise back and closely look at the said MoU and seek advice from the Ministry of Justice.
DPS Manneh indicated that their Ministry and the Department is doing all they can to attract investment and improve aquaculture for sustainable fisheries. “This will create employment and increase government revenue and foreign exchange”, DPS Manneh said.
According to Mrs. Manneh the Ministry and the Department of Fisheries are also looking at the possibilities of encouraging Public Private Partnership as is the case in other countries that succeeded both in catch and aquaculture fishing. She pointed out that the construction of key landing sites and the fishing jetty would be a priority in order to attract more and bigger fishing vessels to the Gambia.
The fisheries DPS said improving aquaculture in the Gambia should be inevitably accompanied by modern technology, heavy investment and the required capacity. She noted that the solution to these challenges lies in the creation of tools and mechanisms for integrated planning of coastal and aquatic areas.
“Smart impact of aquaculture on the environment is an essential part of its sustainable development,” DPS said. She calls on fish farmers to reduce water pollution which according to her is a challenge that will retard aquaculture management for the foreseeable future.
A sideline meeting was held between the Gambian delegation and OUGUM Fishing Company, an Aquaculture firm from Turkey and the Gambian delegation shared some of the successes the country registered in the area of fishing with OUGUM Fishing Company officials.
The Turkish company officials in turn requested a proposal detailing data and different species that can be cultured in the Gambia, the climate suitability for different species and suitability of an aquaculture firm in the Gambia.
The Gambian delegation to Russian includes Mr. Momodou Saidyleigh, head of the Aquaculture Unit at the Department of Fisheries.