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A Female Led Fishing Community in Gambia

Unlike other fishing in the Gambia, the oyster trade is entirely run by women, who pick, process, cook and sell them. The TRY Oyster Women’s Association is a collective founded by a social worker, Fatou Janha Mboob, in 2007. A community-based, non-profit organisation, TRY aims to improve harvesters’ lives through environmental and social initiatives, and training in financial management, food hygiene and water safety. Mboob wanted to make the harvesters a cohesive part of the ecosystem, rather than a force acting against it. In 2012, she successfully lobbied the Gambian government to make Tanbi a “special management area”, within which TRY members have exclusive harvesting rights. TRY is also involved in reforestation; as part of a UNDP-funded project, members planted more than 50,000 mangrove seedlings. In 2011, they voted in favour of a closed harvesting season, from March to June, and to set a minimum size for collecting oysters.