By: Dawda Baldeh
Fish vendors in Tanji have expressed to The Fatu Network the consequence of steady increase in the price of fish on their business and livelihood.
Tanji being Gambia’s biggest fishing site, many find it surprising why the price of fish keeps doubling the price in other parts of the country.
Fish vendors in the area attributed the price hike to “lack of operational Gambian fishing boats”.
They also noted that the price is determined by the variety and size of fish and where or from whom they buy.
The fish vendors mentioned that, despite the grumbling and criticism they get from buyers concerning the price increase, they [vendors] always find ways to cajole them [buyers] and justify the price hike.
“The cheapest pan of fish was between four and five thousand Dalasis (D4,000-D5,000). Now, that has increased.
One pan which initially cost five thousand Dalasis (D1,000) is now sold for twelve thousand Dalasis (D12,000). The ones that cost four thousand Dalasis (D4,000), are now eight thousand (D8,000).
The cheapest pan is now sold for eight thousand Dalasis (D8,000). The rest are at fourteen thousand (D14,000) and twenty thousand (D20,000). A pan of lady fish is also sold at twelve thousand (D12,000), with the cheapest being eight thousand (D8,000). “Sometimes, we sell at loss,” Ramatoulie, a fish vendor said.
Sainabou Nyass is another fish vendor at the heart of the Tanji fishing site. She confirmed similar challenges in the business, reiterating that they have been selling at a loss.
“The business is very slow. You will buy the pan for eight thousand five hundred (D8,500) or seven thousand (D7,000), but to resell it is a problem,” she lamented.
In a situation where supply exceeds demand, buyers come together to influence price. As a result, several implications tend to arise. For some vendors in Tanji, business is not as usual.
Fatoumata Ceesay, a resident of Tanji who is said to have been in the business for nearly three decades, told The Fatu Network that they are losing a lot due to the price hike, which she noted is beyond their control.
“I sometimes sell a pan of fish for two days. I have family to take care of but how are we going to take care of our families? Our hopes are only on the fish we sell. For me, women are suffering in the Gambia and we constitute the majority,” she explained.
For some vendors at the heart of the fishing site, lowering the price could significantly impact their profitability as they may incur loss or struggle to recover their purchasing cost.
They called on concerned authorities to help mitigate the challenges in the sector so there would be abundance of fish at low cost.