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NaFAA Holds High Level Meeting On Fisheries Sector

A high level international meeting on the development of Liberia’s fisheries sector is taking place in Monrovia, Friday, March 23-25, 2018.
The International Fisheries Meeting, which will be facilitated by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), will bring together more than 15 international delegates.
The delegates, who have already arrived in Liberia, are drawn from the World Bank, European Union, USAID, Iceland, FAO and Korea.
The rest of the delegates are from the Fisheries Committee for West Central Gulf of Guinea, the Regional Fisheries Management Organization, and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.
According to the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, Emma Metieh-Glassco, the International Fisheries Meeting is also intended to reestablish relations with international partners and donors. Madam Glassco disclosed that the meeting will take place at the technical offices of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority at on Bushrod Island.
The Director General reaffirmed the entity’s commitment to promoting the development of Liberia’s fisheries sector, a balance and Healthier Eco-system, Food safety, Security, and Nutrition, as well as Economic Growth, Social Development, Good Governance and Value Added.
In a related development, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has disclosed the arrest and confiscation of four fishing vessels, as well as the investigation of additional six fanti canoes in Grand Bassa on claims of unauthorized fishing, illegal exportation, among others.
She named the four confiscated fishing vessels as: BENTY I, Hai-LUNG, EROS, and NINE STAR.
Director General Glassco narrated that the BENTY was initially arrested by the Liberian Government, but later the operators clandestinely took off the shores of Liberia without the knowledge of the National Fisheries Authority, thus violating the Liberian fisheries regulations.
For the vessel HAI-LUNG, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority was alerted through the West African Taskforce that Liberia should effect an immediate arrest of the vessel due to some international violations.
Director General Glassco intimated that the owner of the vessel has disclosed that it was headed for Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Furthermore, Madam Glassco said the vessel EROS, which is amongst four vessels arrested in 2012 for gross violation, has been fined US$2,500.00, while the NINE STAR vessel has been fined US$1 million for polluting the Liberian waters with chemical wastes.
Meanwhile, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority has commissioned a full scale investigation into multiple claims of unauthorized fishing (fishing without license), illegal exportation of fish and fishery products by two of the canoes, over exploitation of the fisheries resources using wrong methods and gears, as well as environmental degradation and pollution made against the migrant fishermen.
Director General Glassco indicated that the six fanti canoes were inspected at the Coast Guard Base in Buchanan, where stocks were taken and the canoes transferred to Big Fanti Town with the out-board machines taken to the Liberian Coast Guard Base for safety following the conclusion of ongoing investigation.
She stated that the authority will not hesitate to institute punitive measures against perpetrators of illegal fishing activities in keeping with the relevant laws governing the sector.
It can be recalled that for the past two years, the Bureau of National Fisheries now National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has received numerous of complains from local fishermen along the 9 coastal communities, most especially the Southeastern region comprising Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru and Maryland Counties, about the bad fishing method by migrant fishermen from neighboring countries during the peak of the fishing season.
The situation has claimed the attention of the fisheries authority, thus prompting the Director General to have sent a technical team to Pine-Apple Beach in Electoral District #5, Grand Bassa County, where the unauthorized fishing activities are being carried out.

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