NaFAA Sets Deadline For Paddle (Kru) Canoes Operators

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Paddle canoes along the coast in Grand Bassa County

The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has given all fishermen of paddle canoes, commonly known as Kru Canoes, a three-month (January–March 31, 2021) grace period for the  payment of their 2021 fishing license fees.

   The government of Liberia, through NaFAA, reached the decision over the weekend following a three-day consultative meeting, held at the Mesurado Pier, Bushrod Island, with paddle canoe representatives (Kru Fishing Chiefs) from January 20-23, 2021.

   At the close of the joint consultative meeting with the Kru Fishing Chiefs, NaFAA, through its Director General, Emma Metieh Glassco, disclosed a downward adjustment (due to the prevailing rate) in the fishing license fees for the paddle canoes across Liberia.

   Glassco announced that Kru canoe operators will now pay US$50 or its equivalent as fishing license fee for 2021, beginning March 31.

   She further stated that, in 2007 this was the fee charged by the then Bureau of National Fisheries (BNF) under the Ministry of Agriculture as fishing license fee.

   It was explained to the Fishing Chiefs from the nine coastal counties in 2017 that the Bureau of National Fisheries was transformed into the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), after a legislation was passed into law, thus making NaFAA an autonomous entity responsible to sustainably manage the nation’s fishery resources.

   The adjustment in paddle canoes’ fishing license fee was done in consultation with representatives of the various fishing communities (Kru fishing Chiefs) across the nine coastal counties (Cape Mount, Bomi, Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa, River Cess, Sinoe, Grand Kru and Maryland).

   The more than 30 fishing Kru Chiefs in attendance at the consultative meeting declared their commitment in ensuring the full compliance of all paddle canoe operators across the nine coastal counties in Liberia.

The Chiefs noted that they were impressed with the level of transformation being carried out in the Liberian fisheries sector by the Emma Metieh Glassco led administration under the George Weah Government.

   They vowed to ensure that all Kru canoe operators cooperate with government through NaFAA to enhance the already existing transformation within the fisheries sector.

   Meanwhile, the Kru fishing chiefs have lauded the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority administration for being willing to incorporate them in the fight against illegal fishing.

   Glassco at the start of the three days meeting disclosed plans to launch a community surveillance program throughout fishing communities in Liberia to drastically combat 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”.

   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 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.

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