Aquaculture for all

Natural Fisheries Are Under-Utlised


GAMBIA - Gambia's vice president and minister for women affairs, Mrs Isatou Njie-Saidy, has said that fish, one of Africa's natural resources, is under-utilised because of missing infrastructure and gadgets needed to promote the fishing sector.

In her speech at the closing session of a meeting of African ministers of fisheries and aquaculture last week, Mrs Njie-Saidy said Africa's fishing industry had continued to be threatened by a decline in stock following a combination of factors, such as over-fishing aggravated by the indiscriminate or inappropriate use of fishing methods that destroys juvenile fish, reports Afrique en ligne.

According to her, an area that demands special attention to counter the threats of decline and assure robust sustainable and opportunities for increased seafood supplies, is aquaculture, adding that not only it is the fastest growing food production system in the world, but also constitutes a fall-back in moment when countries want to conserve their fish stock.

She told the gathering that the Gambia had huge potentials in aquaculture develo pment, given the suitability of the country's topography to the smooth implementation of any form of aquaculture, from pond aquaculture to sea farming and ranching.

Also speaking at the session, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Tankeu, admitted: 'It is true that the exploitation of our marine and aquatic resources are not measured to the potential that the sector offers.'

She also said that Africa was capable of managing its fisheries with a view to turning them into wealth as had been demonstrated by countries rich in fisheries resources. She pointed out that the AU was committed to ensuring that the fisheries sector in Africa received the attention it deserved for its own growth and contribution to socio-economic development.

In his remarks, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, chief executive officer NEPAD's planning and coordinating agency, said fisheries were vital for many Africans who daily catch, process, transport and sell fish, adding that the sector alone generated some US$ five billion in foreign currency for African economies each year.

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