Overfishing In Gambia: Amnesty International Raises Concerns

“Overfishing is not sustainable both in terms of the overall health of the oceans and the suffering of human population.”

Global rights group Amnesty International has expressed concerns over the impact of overfishing in Gambia, stressing that the activities of all fishing actors, including foreign industrial vessels and the fishmeal factory, threaten the economic and social rights of local communities in Sanyang, Gambia. The group urges President Adama Barrow @BarrowPresident to act and save Gambian communities and seas.

“Artisanal fishermen face economic losses due to their fishnets being cut by foreign boats illegally operating near their shore,” Amnesty International said in an ongoing global campaign to help protect communities from the impact of overfishing. “These industrial vessels deplete water resources and force artisanal fishermen to venture further into the sea. Artisanal fish processors and traders also suffer from fish scarcity and rising costs. Fishmeal factories compete with them directly, impacting their livelihoods,” the statement further remarked.

Locals complain that the price of Bonga and Sardinella has risen sharply as these species are among the most affected in the ongoing overfishing expeditions in the Gambia. Fishmeal and fish oil are the main products of the fishmeal factories operating in the country.

Fishmeal is an important animal protein source in the formulation of feed for livestock such as poultry birds, with 1kg of fishmeal requiring about 4.5kg of fish to produce. This situation places pressure on sea resources, requiring immediate attention.

Amnesty International worries that overfishing is not sustainable both in terms of the overall health of the oceans and the suffering of the human population, urging activists and concerned groups to counteract the impact of overfishing in Gambian communities by writing to His Excellency President Adama Barrow urging him to take action now.