Anna Mbenga Cham, Director of Fisheries, in her opening remarks, expressed her sincere gratitude to the participants as well as their partners for their commitment to the sustainable management, conservation and development of fisheries resources.
She further reaffirmed the commitment of the Department through the Ministry of Fisheries to the development of the fisheries sector as the sector plays a crucial role in the economic and social development of the nation.
Dr. Patrice Brehmer, IRD gave a brief history of IRD, stating that it is a French institution and that it promotes research for development in different sectors, including the fisheries sector.
“The workshop is a continuation of what we did in the first phase, i.e. the harmonization of data collection at the sub-regional level and the deployment of a data collection system of digital data to facilitate work at the landing site,” he said. .
He added that they are currently focusing on small pelagic fish with the goal of expanding to all other geographic species.
According to Dr. Patrice, they are trying to promote sub-regional collaboration within the project and that in the second phase they want to expand the use of android tablets in order to collect important data.
To that end, he revealed that they will be deploying a seawater temperature sensor that can communicate with the tablet and the information can be sent directly to the fisheries department.
“We will also try to set up an observatory for mammals on the beach and also any seaweed occurrences as well as try to report other sightings like in the event of marine pollution, accidents or interference unusual at sea.” he added.
The aim according to him is to show the ability of the Fisheries Department and its data collectors to be the eyes and ears of The Gambia along the coast.
He then developed the importance of the environmental parameters which he indicated as very important if we want to manage the fish stock well.
“If you only get the landing site information on the catch and all the socio-economic information but you miss the information on water temperature, sea salinity, wind, among other factors that have an impact on the dynamics of ecosystem productivity, this will have a direct impact on the dynamics of fish stocks,” he stressed.