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.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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