NaFAA Boss Seeks Cooperation In Combating IUU Fishing

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NaFAA Boss, Emma Glassco, addressing paddling canoe representatives

The Director General of NaFAA is urging residents of local fishing communities across the nine coastal counties in Liberia to work cooperatively with government in drastically combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities in Liberia.

Speaking Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at the start of a three-day consultative stakeholders meeting with Kru fishing chiefs taking place at the Mesurado Pier on Bushrod Island, Emma Metieh Glassco stated that “IUU fishing activities can only be drastically reduced if Residents of affected communities help government fight the menace”.

Glassco disclosed a plan to launch a community surveillance program throughout fishing communities in Liberia to drastically reduce illegal fishing across the nine coastal counties in Liberia.

The NaFAA boss mentioned that “the government through NaFAA will do everything possible to support the local fishing authorities in all of the nine coastal counties to aid in the fight against illegal fishing activities”.

Glassco said, “We need the full support of all legal fishermen to combat illegal fishing, because those illegal fishermen are taking away Liberia’s fisheries resources without any benefit to the country.”

She furthered disclosed that the government through NaFAA will identify local fishing community leaderships, provide identification cards along with letter of authority, among others, to enable them work toward the reduction of illegal fishing activities.

The NaFAA Director General said a team from the Marine Fisheries and Environment department and the MCS Department will shortly be deployed within counties with hot zones to work closely with local law enforcement authorities and community’s leaders to form the community surveillance team in combatting illegal fishing.

Meanwhile, paddling canoe representatives attending the three-day consultative meeting from across the nine coastal counties have pledged their commitment in helping government through NaFAA to fight illegal fishing activities across Liberia.

The group of paddling canoe representatives (Kru Chiefs) disclosed that foreign fishermen, including Ghanaians, Sierra Leoneans, Ivoirians and Senegalese are damaging their waters; as such, there is a need to adequately address the issue and reduce illegal fishing activities.

A group of Ghanian and Sierra Leoneans were last week arrested in Sasstown, Grand Kru County, for illegal fishing activities and their motorized engines taken to NaFAA’s technical office on Bushrod Island.

Those arrested were turned over to the local authorities for further questioning, after which they will be referred to Monrovia for investigation.

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