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  3 months ago

"A waste of fish" | Gambia's struggle

The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa, located in the western area of the continent. The country's population is only 2,000,000. The Gambia, together with Mauritania and Senegal, is responsible for providing food in the form of fish from the rest of Western Africa.

Here, as much as 10% of the population is engaged in work in the fisheries area, but it should be remembered that this sector is not only the fishermen themselves but also the women who buy, prepare, dry and sell these fish at the market, to earn some extra money for their family.

The history of this country is also worth mentioning. The former British colony was ruled by dictator Yahya Jammeh, until 2016. He made a bloody mark on the history of the country, trapping and killing oppositionists and suppressing all social movements. It was also during his tenure that the process of building fish meal factories began.

Fish meal is a product widely used nowadays: it is added to farm animals’ feed, but very often nowadays it can also be found in the feed of our domesticated animals, too. In most countries, it is produced from unfit fish waste. In the Gambia, however, it is very different. Whole fish, the same species (Bonga fish), which accounts for up to 50% of the protein source of Gambian inhabitants, is used to produce fishmeal.

The factories were built with the help of Chinese capital, and therefore Chinese boats very often appear at the shore, fishing is an extremely destructive way for the environment, ruining the ocean floor, polluting the ocean and limit the fish population on coastal areas - so important for people living there.

The problem has been publicised more and more recently. The problem of overfishing has been addressed by, among others, Greenpeace, whose report proves that fishmeal factories operate contrary to the concept of sustainable development, and as a result, ocean ecosystems are disturbed, which in the long run can have terrible effects not only from an ecological but also an economic point of view.

Polish researchers also want to tell this story. ‘Stolen fish’ is the story of three Gambians who talk about the reality of life in the country, how economic policy can fatally affect many aspects, including tourism (30% of the country's GDP), hunger, and the economy.

Have you heard about this problem? Do you pay attention to the presence of fishmeal in the products you buy?

What can we do to publicise and fight this situation?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Influence your world,

Toluna Team


  3 months ago
social media is usually very good for publicity and spreading information


  3 months ago
This is also one of the problem today. The world very soon will be left out of some natural source of the food.


  3 months ago
I spent 3 months in Gambia as a volunteer and am very familiar with the country, I am still in regular contact with people I met there. Fishing is the main sources of food there and seeing other countries doing this to them is horrible, I knew about this as I read news about Gambia and hear them from my friends from there.


  3 months ago
I have not heard of this before
I think if you publish it in a newspaper or provide this to a linked charity, people will begin to notice

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