Fishermen and fishmongers from the Tambacula area in Aberdeen want the Government to provide security at their boat-landing site. The Police post, less than 500 metres away, often deals with disturbances at the fisher’s site. Tambacula is a popular fish and landing site across from the Radisson Blu Hotel near the Aberdeen beach. Several years ago, the Government bulldozed dozens of structures from the site including tourist shops and local businesses. It is a frequent site for arguments and disagreements amongst users. Mohamed Lamin Kamara, a fisherman at the Tambacula area, said, “We face severe problems in this Wharf where people sometimes sustain serious injuries. If the Government fails to do something, somebody will one day be killed in this type of situation,” he emphasized. He furthered that wrangling sometimes takes place around the boats between a captain and a fisherman or between one fisher to another. Kamara said they are sometimes treated badly by the captains and boat owners which sometimes causes controversy.
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He said fishing can be a lucrative business if only the Government gives the fishing industry the necessary attention it deserves. “We want government to pay more attention at the Tambacula Wharf,” …because it is in deplorable conditions and not conducive for fishermen. Another fisherman, Alpha Turay, said foreign vessels disturb them whilst at sea. He said they do not have the sophisticated equipment to fish compared to the foreign boats. A fishmonger, Yeabu Kalokoh, said she was angry with the number of criminals at the landing site. According to Kalokoh, “A lot of these guys are thieves. They are not fishermen neither captains. They are here to wreck havoc and disturb the peace of the wharf.” Annually, Sierra Leone loses an estimated $50 million USD to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. President Bio, during an address to Parliament, said one of the key objectives of the administration was to create a profitable fisheries industry that will contribute significantly to socio-economic development through sustainable management and utilization of the country’s marine resources as well as conserving the environment. He also said the Government would address illegal fishing and the fisheries infrastructure.
By Mohamed J. Bah
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