As coronavirus continues to impact negatively on all sectors, another burning economic issue has once again been brought to the fore.
It is evident that since the outbreak of the global pandemic, the number of fishermen embarking on their daily fishing trips has dwindled either due to current sea conditions or fear of the new regulations put in place by government.
However, the underlying factor is that most of Gambia’s fishermen are foreigners. Therefore we are all paying the price. Covid-19 has taught us that something must be done to regulate the nation’s crumbling fishing industry in the soonest possible time.
As a result, local communities are feeling the pinch as the price of fish as risen exponentially. Before, fish that is priced at D30 to D50 has now increased to D75 or there about. Going by these prices, how would ordinary people with large families cope with the system?
Fish prices have increased exponentially due to a serious fall in landing amid coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, people living in the coastal communities of Tanji, Sanyang, Gunjur, Bakau and even Banjul are all narrating similar ordeal.
The youth are the backbone of any thriving economy. Therefore, Gambian youth should wake up from their slumber and consider taking a profession that can earn them fortunes. Government also has a stake in this whole project, meaning the government has to revisit it policies. Going by the figures of school leavers in the country is scaring too. And not all these graduating students can work in offices. Even in the west, there exists university graduates who are farmers, fishermen, horticulturists and the list goes on. It is a hard fact that fishing is a lucrative enterprise that generates millions of dalasis annually, but how and how do we make it lucrative for the youth is what needs to be answered.
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We therefore call on government to rethink and overhaul its youth empowerment programmes to create more jobs for the youths in the fishing sector. When there are existing opportunities in the fishing sector, a number of youth would embrace the opportunity, thereby contributing their quota to national development.
Each time there is scarcity of fish, it is the local people that suffer the most. Fish and fishery products are daily consumed and by a vast number of households in the country. Amid these trying moments, it is not all the families that can afford the sky rocketing price of fish.
Government should empower youths by creating opportunities in the fisheries sectors.
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