Six decades of fisheries in The Gambia, “the smiling coast of Africa”
The Gambian marine fisheries, although often overlooked, are crucial for the local population, mainly because of the importance of the domestic catches, which are reconstructed here. Despite the relatively small size of The Gambian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the catch of the legal and illegal foreign fisheries, which are reconstructed herein as well, are very high. The other components of Gambian fisheries, notably subsistence and artisanal catches, as well as discards, were also reconstructed for the period from 1950 to 2010. Total removals from The Gambia were estimated at 6 million t for that same period. Domestic catches, of 2.2 million t, were found to be 2.5 times as high as the landings of 875,700 t reported by FAO on behalf of The Gambia for the 1950-2010 period. The annual reconstructed catch of The Gambia, since 2000, oscillates between 50,000 and 60,000 t.year-1, and despite a massive foreign industrial trawl fishing effort, the species caught in greatest quantities continues to be the bonga shad ( Ethmalosa fimbriata ), a popular species locally important for food security. However, their catches are declining, which, along with droughts and increasing fish prices, further jeopardizes food security in The Gambia.
Some pictures from Gambia:
Gambia reconstruction pdf file: