By Bekai Njie
At least four fishing boats suspected to have involved in illegal fishing have been impounded by fisheries officials at the Tanji Fish Landing site, the country’s biggest fish landing site.
The boats were said to be loaded with huge amount of juvenile fishes at the time of their inspection. A fisheries official who is familiar with the matter and prefer to be anonymous said that the boat owners were using prohibited fishing nets for fishing.
The owners were three Senegalese and a Gambian.
Momodou Lain, Sainey Khan, Alieu Lain were all confirmed to be Senegalese, while Edrisa Jallow was identified as a Gambian.
A source said that these illegal activities came to light following a routine inspection by a Fisheries Assistant at the Tanji landing site. After realising a despicable foul play, he acted by taking necessary steps to save the posterity of one of the nation’s most lucrative industries.
After confirming some wrongdoings, authorities decided to take custody of the machines and nets from the boats and let owners go until today for further action (s) – that is to be taken by the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters.
Alieu Lain, a suspect, admitted that was the first time that he got apprehended by the fisheries officials for such act.
According to him, he has seven years of experience in fishing in The Gambia but has never violated any fishing laws of the country. He thus pleaded for authorities to have mercy on him.
“Yes, it is true that I am apprehended for involving in illegal fishing activity, and the use of nets that are not allowed for fishing, but this is the first time such is happening to me after seven years of fishing experience in the country. So I am just pleading as a first time offender,” he said.
Fisheries officials at the Tanjai Fish landing site has informed that the confiscation of the fishing machines and their nets from the suspects has came following a confirmation that they the suspects were using nets that are not allowed for fishing in this country.