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by Malang Sanyang, Teacher of Social and Environmental Sciences, GUBS


This is the contribution of the Social and Environmental Sciences Study Group at the Gunjur Upper Basic School (GUBS) in The Gambia. Under the leadership of Malang Sanyang and Sulayman Jobe, the school already participated actively in the pilot activities for the FAO - EAF Nansen Project about introducing the ecosystem approach to fisheries into the teaching syllabus in the country.

Protecting baby fish is part of that approach, so our Study Group wanted to be part of the naming contest for the Mundus maris mascots as well. The Headmaster of our school encouraged us to go ahead. Here are the suggestions of two sub-groups:

Sub-Group 1

Name of small fish (male): Binta
Name of big fish (female): Mariama

Reasons why we chose the names:
* Binta is a young fish. She needs the food more because she is young and needs to grow and develop.
* Mariama is said to be the wisest of mothers and knows how to protect her children.



To protect the fish, we should do the following:
* stop coastal erosion.
* stop coastal land clearing.
* say no to the dumping of solid and liquid waste.
* let us prevent the bigger fish from eating up the smaller fish.

Sub-Group 2 - Ecosystem Class
Name of small fish (male): Dawda
Name of big fish (female): Fatou

Reasons why we chose the names:
* Dawda is young, energetic, but with little experience of the world outside her environment.
* Fatou is a young mother, who is so keen to see her child grow into maturity. She is a wise woman who is able to guide and protect her child.

To protect the baby fishes, consider the following :
* Avoid using nets with small mesh-sizes.
* Avoid the basket method of fishing (indiscriminate fishing).
* Stop coastal sand mining.
* The government should employ coast guards to stop illegal fishing and deforestation.