Health, Hygiene and Livelihood Gains for Gambian Fishing Communities


Women oyster harvesters gather with CRC Project Manager Karen Kent to celebrate the new sanitary facilities at harvesting and fish landing sites in The Gambia.

CRC’s Ba Nafaa project achieved a milestone in The Gambia Dec. 16 and 17 regarding improvements in health, hygiene and the economic value of fisheries products in impoverished communities. The United States’ Charge d’Affairs in The Gambia, USAID West Africa officials and The Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources presided over the signing of water, sanitation and hygiene management plans and the transfer of five potable water points and five toilet facilities at two oyster harvesting sites and two fisheries landing sites to local communities. The USAID-funded Gambia-Senegal Sustainable Fisheries Project (known locally as Ba Nafaa) supported these activities.

CRC Secures Rockefeller Foundation Grant for Sustainable Fisheries Work

The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded a grant of $559,296 to CRC in support of monitoring, coordinating and communicating learning from grantees and partners of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Oceans & Fisheries Initiative.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Oceans Initiative is in the development phase and is designed to test a theory of change and identify potential goals, strategies and approaches for a potential future ecosystem-based fisheries program.

“The Coastal Resources Center has both breadth and depth of experience in conducting research and implementing programs aimed at improving the well-being of poor or vulnerable fishing communities around the world, and the ecosystems on which they depend. We’re thrilled to work with CRC as a key partner in this Initiative,” said Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Senior Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation.

CRC will help create a scalable and testable package of effective management approaches to sustain small-scale fisheries, synthesize information, bring together partner learning approaches, develop and share learning platforms and products and serve as secretariat for the Initiative’s advisory group of experts. This is the first time the University of Rhode Island has received financial support from the world-renowned Rockefeller Foundation.

For a related article, see The Providence Business News.

TRY Oyster Women, CRC in the news

CRC’s work with women oyster harvesters in The Gambia has drawn the attention of the British online development magazine, the New Agriculturist. 

A feature story and photos on the success of the TRY Oyster Women’s Association, an initiative supported through CRC’s Gambia-Senegal Sustainable Fisheries Project, appears under its Developments section with the headline, “The world is your oyster – if you TRY!” The piece follows the evolution of the group, its challenges, achievements and future goals and discusses the role of CRC in helping TRY succeed.

New Agriculturist will further publicize the piece through Facebook and Twitter and will highlight it in its January e-newsletter.

CRC Project Featured in Marine Stewardship Council Video

A video produced by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) on sustainable fisheries in developing nations features CRC’s Gambia-Senegal Sustainable Fisheries Project (USAID/BaNafaa). Since 2009 CRC has been working in The Gambia on a participatory, ecosystem-based co-management approach to sustainably manage the artisanal sole fishery. The MSC conducted a pre-assessment of that fishery in 2008 that helped identify areas for improvement in sustainable management. Over the last five years, fishery stakeholders have made significant progress and learned valuable lessons in application of the MSC process. These perspectives are shared in this new MSC video featuring The Gambian sole fishery among other developing country fisheries pursuing MSC certification, a recognition of sustainable management of a fishery that may positively influence consumers’ choices.