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toubab1020 Posted - 25 Dec 2020 : 11:22:48

Rising fish price causes high demand in chicken

Dec 24, 2020, 1:11 PM | Article By: Yusupha Jobe

A good number of households in The Gambia have now resorted to the consumption of imported chicken thighs from the European countries following increase in the price of pelagic fishes due to fish shortage at the local markets.

Many local vendors and fish dealers in the country have put the blame on the number of established fishmeal factories along the coastal villages including fishing activities of European and Chinese owned fishing trawlers in the sea.

The Point in an interview with many households around the Greater Banjul Areas (GBA) and West Coast Region, said the recent rise in consumption of imported chicken thighs among families in the country has increased due to the high prices of fishes at the local markets as compared to the affordable imported chicken thighs.

Musukebba Jammeh, a fisher vendor, said she eats chicken thighs with her family 4-times in a week, adding that she finds it hard to afford fish at the local markets.

“How do you expect me to spend an amount of D100 on fish alone; excluding other condiments for the day? I had never in my home eaten chicken legs more than a day in a week and sometimes it’s never cooked for the entire week,” she said.

She noted that she was surprised by the scale of increment in fish prices, saying she had never witnessed such in the country. “I have never witnessed such an increase in the price of fishes since I joined the business as a vendor. People have no other choice but to consume the chicken legs which are imported from outside the country and this might even have some health complications,” she warned.

Ahmed Seedy, a Mauritanian national, who sells chicken thighs in the Brikama Market, said many families now come to his shop to buy the chicken thighs as compared to recent years.

“I can say the number of households I receive daily in selling chicken legs at my shop have now increased compared to the past years.”

“I might not know the reason for their frequent buying and consumption of chicken legs but what many would always say is the hike in the prices of pelagic fish at the local markets. Can you imagine, sometime I sell 10 to 15 cartoons of imported chicken legs in a single day - something I never remembered doing for the past years,” he revealed.
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toubab1020 Posted - 29 Dec 2020 : 11:49:29

By Hatab Nyang on December 28, 2020

On Saturday December 19th 2020, this reporter witnessed many boats disembarking their catches on the beach in Gunjur, comprising juvenile ‘bonga’ and catfish. This has been the trend since the opening of the Golden Lead Fishmeal Factory in November 2020, when most fishes that are caught and sold to the factory are juvenile fish.

A fisher folk who spoke to this reporter anonymously said the authorities at the factory do not care, since they are getting what they want for their factory to operate. He said the Gambian authorities and fisheries inspectors controlled and seized all catches of such nature last year, from any fisher folk who catches them. He opined that this year, nothing is happening because the fisheries authorities are not acting to put a stop to this act.

When contacted by this reporter on what is happening at Gunjur beach, Fisheries Officer Ebrima Jabang said the juvenile fish seen at the beach are usually selected from the big ones and comprise only ten percent of a boat’s catch. But this reporter urged Jabang to verify for himself in order to ascertain his report. When he obliged, Jabang saw for himself that the vast majority of all catches were all juvenile fish, caught by foreign fisher folk who have been granted licence to fish in our waters.

Senegalese fisher folks in particular, catch these fish and sell almost all their catch to Golden Lead Fishmeal Factory.

In a fisheries stakeholder meeting between the Permanent Secretary, Director of Fisheries and fisher folks in Gunjur on 23rd November 2020, the Director of Fisheries Nfamara Darboe urged fisher folks to use the right fishing nets with the right holes, to allow the juvenile fish to live and grow to maturity. Darboe said if they refuse to comply, Government will act.
According to the Permanent Secretary of Fisheries Omar Gibba, The All Artisanal Fisheries Cooperative Association (AFICOSA) has the mandate to regulate the day to day affairs at beaches; that they should work hand in glove with the Gambia Navy, the beach community and Fisheries Officials, and stop what he called ‘this greed and illegal fishing.’

However, when this reporter contacted AFICOSA officials on the juvenile fish caught by Senegalese fishermen for sale to the fishmeal factory, they took it upon themselves to monitor those responsible for engaging in illegal and unregulated fishing of juvenile fish.

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