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 Turning West Africa’s fish into powder
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Posted - 24 Mar 2021 :  09:04:48  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The factories turning West Africa’s fish into powder

By Ian Urbina
BBC: 23rd March 2021

Chinese-run factories are turning huge amounts of The Gambia’s fish stocks into fishmeal for aquaculture. But are they taking too much, too quickly?

Gunjur, a town of some 15,000 people, sits on the Atlantic coastline of southern Gambia, the smallest country on the African continent. During the day, its white-sand beaches are full of activity. Fishermen steer long, vibrantly painted wooden canoes, known as pirogues, toward the shore, where they transfer their still-fluttering catch to women waiting at the water’s edge.

The fish are hauled off to nearby open-air markets in rusty metal wheelbarrows or in baskets balanced on heads. Small boys play soccer as tourists watch from lounge chairs. At nightfall, work ends and the beach is dotted with bonfires. There is drumming and kora lessons; men with oiled chests grapple in traditional wrestling matches.

Hike five minutes inland, and you’ll find a more tranquil setting: a wildlife reserve known as Bolong Fenyo. Established by the Gunjur community in 2008, the reserve is meant to protect 790 acres of beach, mangrove swamp, wetland, savannah, and an oblong lagoon. The lagoon, a half-mile (800m) long and a few hundred yards wide, has been a lush habitat for a remarkable variety of migratory birds as well as humped-back dolphins, epaulet fruit bats, Nile crocodiles, and callithrix monkeys.

A marvel of biodiversity, the reserve has been integral to the region’s ecological health – and, with hundreds of birders and other tourists visiting each year, to its economic health, too.

But on the morning of 22 May 2017, the Gunjur community discovered that the Bolong Fenyo lagoon had turned a cloudy crimson overnight, dotted with floating dead fish. “Everything is red,” one local reporter wrote, “and every living thing is dead.” Some residents wondered if the apocalyptic scene was an omen delivered in blood. More likely, ceriodaphnia, or water fleas, had turned the water red in response to sudden changes in pH or oxygen levels. Locals soon reported that many of the birds were no longer nesting near the lagoon.......

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A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone


11759 Posts

Posted - 18 Jun 2022 :  00:12:53  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


By Hatab Nyang June 16th 2022

Water Pollution purported to have emanated from Golden Lead Factory in Gunjur is said to be affecting Aquatic and Marine life, causing deaths to many.

Bolongfenyoto is the only lagoon in Gunjur beach. There are many small fishes living inside it and it also served as breeding places for the fishes and a habitat for crocodiles as well.

According to some members within the community, the area is a famous tourist attraction and some investors have also built lodges and motels along its long shores for tourists and other visitors.

This reporter, on 15th June,2022, visited the site and discovered that many Marine Organisms were found dead on the shores of the said lagoon (Bolongfenyoto). He observed that the water by the shores of the lagoon was also reddish and covered with foam.

The organisms found dead include crabs, mangroves, crocodiles and many other sea creatures. Several crabs and small fishes were also seen dead and scattered on the shores.
Dead fish beside the lagoon

Out of curiosity and for the purpose of accuracy, the reporter went behind the Golden Lead Fishmeal Factory which borders the lagoon and discovered polluted water coming from the Fishmeal Factory’s manhole.
The pipe that the rear of Golden Lead that discharges reddish waste water

As the principle of balance reporting and objectivity dictates, the reporter went to Golden Lead to hear their side of the story but securities working at the Company said no staff was there to receive him.

However, when the Fisheries Officer attached to Gunjur Beach Ebrima Jabang was shown the pictures causing serious harm to the said organisms, he intimated that he was not aware of the incident but promised to engage Golden Lead staff to make sure that the discharged of polluted water into the lagoon is halted.

This reporter will make a follow up on the story to better inform all stakeholders in order to address the issue before more harm is done.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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