Perhaps one of the most disturbing factors faced by Gambian fish retailers is the unfriendly conditions of the limited availability of fish storage facilities, which constitutes a major factor of early spoilage of fish.
On the other hand, the limited availability of transport for retailers in fish from the fishing centres like Sanyang and Gunjur, to the interior of the country is also a lingering factor to the early destruction of fish. Some of the fish retailers from Brikama, Gunjur and Sanyang have another story. In fact some of them had alleged that people who used to buy fish at markets do also contribute to the early spoilage of fish. They observed that the hands that touch the fish while set for sale at market can easily spoil them.
However, they are optimistic that the coming of the Japanese government’s fish market grant for The Gambia which is currently under construction in Brikama will make great impact in addressing these lingering issues that they are currently facing.
The Brikama fish market, according to officials from the fisheries department, will address if not all, but majority of the problems faced by both fishermen and retailers. This will also provide huge revenue for the country as well as cut down the rate of spoilt fish catches that find their way into the dustbins each day. "The establishment of the fish market will make a positive impact on our business," said one of the fish retailers from Gunjur.
Gambia has gained great triumph in the fishing sector, virtually 40 to 45 per cent of Gambian families either directly or in directly deriving their source of living from the sector. Over the years, there has been an indiscriminate catching and killing of fishes in the Gambian waters especially the pelagic (small) ones. This could be due to the type and size of fishing nets used by the fishermen who have long been contributing to a set back and poses serious threat on the country’s young fish which serve as regenerating aspect of the sector. However, majority of Gambian fishermen alleged that such nefarious and irresponsible way of fishing is done by the foreign fishermen.
Fish is widely consumed by Gambian families. It is one of the predominantly protein and bodybuilding providing food for them. It can be consumed fresh by frying or smoking it. Fish can also be consumed after drying for long. Gambia’s fishing sector has gained the respect from the international markets for its provision of fresh and disease-free fish.