Liberia: “Protection of marine resources remains an important pillar” – says NaFAA boss as she launches net exchange program
WEST POINT, Monrovia – The Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) stressed that the protection of Liberia’s marine resources remains an important pillar in maintaining a sustainable fisheries sector.
Speaking recently at the official launch of the NaFAA Net Exchange program held in West Point Township, Executive Director Emma Metieh Glassco stressed that the NaFAA has taken an approach to ensure that fish are available. at all times, ‘for our generation today and those to be born’. This, according to Hon Glassco, will provide a cycle of socio-economic intervention for people living in fishing communities.
Hon. Glassco noted that âAs a government institution, the NaFAA remains committed to ensuring that the people of Liberia benefit from their fishery resources. Providing an overview of the net trading program under the CDC-led government, Ms. Glassco noted that âtoday marks a major milestone achievement in ensuring that we, as a government, respect our social contract with the people, providing interventions and opportunities to improve their lives.
The NaFAA fisheries expert revealed that government efforts are to ensure that everything counts; the availability of fishery resources, fishing methods, fishing gear, processing, handling and distribution as well as the quality of the fish found on the plates.
Ms Glassco mentioned that the only concern of the government was the economic value chain for human development, putting money in the pockets of its people to meet their basic needs and also taking care of the food security of the people. in general. The head of the NaFAA indicated that the approach remains to ensure sustainable fishing and the reduction of losses and deterioration after harvest.
She said that to achieve these goals, the government of Liberia is well engaged with its partners to take measures in line with international best practices, noting that today the CDC-led government is initiating several interventions to promote sustainable fisheries. and respectful of the environment. and improving fish handling and processing techniques.
With funding from the World Bank, Ms Glassco said the government through NaFAA has brought a huge batch of multifilament or threaded nets to Liberia to start the process of trading nets for local fishermen. âThis is one of the activities of the World Bank-sponsored project, ‘Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Management Project,’ said fisheries experts from NaFAA. She said the rationale was to ensure that destructive rubber nets or monofilament nets which over the years have affected the marine ecosystem, causing environmental degradation and endangering other aquatic species, such as sea ââturtles, seahorses and juveniles, by ingesting these nets as food or by ghost fishing, to be replaced by the internationally certified multifilament or threaded net, in accordance with the new Liberia Fisheries Law and best practices international.
Today, she said: âWe are here to start this process as we anticipate that our fishermen will give us their full support, as was expressed during our just concluded awareness and outreach tour, let I assure you, our fishermen, that we, as the government, must ensure a smooth and practical transition taking into account all the concerns raised during our community engagement which has just ended â.
Mrs. Glassco said: âLet it be known that the nets will be distributed to the fishing communities of the nine coastal counties of Liberia, starting with Montserrado. She assured that around 20-30% of the total workforce in the fishing industry in Liberia would be affected by the first phase of this distribution program. She clarified that “this remains a voluntary process as we work with our fishermen and other government officials to ensure a smooth transition to the new certified nets.”
Speaking of the compliance of all fishermen in Liberia’s nine coastal counties, Ms. Glassco pleaded, âWe are making a humble appeal to our fishermen, who are currently using rubber nets or monofilament nets to cooperate with our teams in their communities. and return all of their rubber nets to NaFAA. âA rubber net for a one-thread net, at no cost,â says NaFAA Boss.
The CEO of NaFAA said the government, through the Fisheries Authority, is happy to inform fishing communities that while maximizing our efforts to ensure sustainable fishing, the NaFAA has also been committed to exploiting the full economic value of fishery products, thereby reducing post-harvest. loss / deterioration of fish and improvement of quality, by introducing modern storage equipment, improving smoking techniques, installing smoke ovens as well as improving the sanitary process with regard to handling, processing and the distribution of fishery products.
Ms Glassco revealed that with financial support from the Japanese government through FAO as an implementing partner, NaFAA is providing support to Fish Mongers (Women in Fisheries) to improve processing, handling and storage of fishery products as well as distribution of fish. some products. Ms Glassco said the project aims to improve the livelihoods of women in the fishing industry in fishing communities. âWe are all aware that women play a crucial role in the fisheries value chain, because they are the channel of the fish – of the sea and the plates â, said the boss of the NaFAA
Commenting on the important role that women or fishmongers play in the fishing sector, especially on food security and the economy, Director General Glassco assured that the current intervention will help to increase their daily income towards the support of their families, the intervention will reduce the post-harvest loss (spoilage of fish) and increase the quantity and quality of fishery products in our domestic market.
She continued today, NaFAA and FAO will initiate the process of distributing fish handling, processing, storage and transport equipment to women, as the project is the first of its kind in Liberia. She revealed that the items to be distributed to the fishmongers will include solar freezers, cutting tables, aprons, tricycles, other cutting utensils, protective and hygienic equipment, such as gloves, caps, etc.
Speaking on the initial distribution, which is launched today, Ms Glassco said it will benefit fishmongers in two fishing communities; Banjor in Montserrado and Fanti Town in Grand Bassa counties and the subsequent project, which has already been signed, will extend the distribution to all fishing communities in other coastal counties.
At the same time, the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority added stating that the toady launch program is a clear manifestation that the government of Liberia is diversifying the economy from traditional rubber and minerals to other economically viable resources that have a direct impact on people. Ms. Glassco noted that the government, through NaFAA, appreciates the support of its partners, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union and the Japanese government, for their support for the implementation of these projects.
She concluded by stating that the leaders of the NaFAA appreciate the support of the Government of Liberia, in particular the President, His Excellency Dr George Manneh Weah and the Chief Patron of the Fisheries Sector, His Excellency Madam Clar Marie Decontee Weah for her continued support and patronage by identifying with the fishing community, thus adding more relevance to the fishing industry as it is an unconventional and risky career. She recalled that, as President Weah said in his inaugural speech, today in the field of fishing, Liberian fishermen are not spectators but rather the main players in this sector.
Official launch of Net Exchange and Women in Fisheries Empowerment Program in West Point Township First Lady of Liberia Her Excellency Ms. Clar Marie Weah congratulated the NaFAA administration for the level of transformation underway in the sector fishing in Liberia.
The First Lady who disclosed a project to build a modernization facility for a smoke oven for fishmongers / women in fishing in the fishing community of Popo beach, mentioned that the land for the project of fishing have already been secured with all relevant documents.
The Liberian first lady pledged the full commitment of her husband, President George Weah, and noted that the Liberian fishing sector remains high on the agenda of the CDC’s leg government.
HE Clar Weah was seen presenting the deeds and other relevant documents to the President of the Fish Monger Association, Ms. Theresa Beyon, as a fulfillment of his pledge to the association ahead of the COVID-19 virus peak in Liberia.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has assured the government and people of Liberia of its continued support for the country’s pro-poor prosperity and development agenda through improved fisheries sector.
Mr. Khwima Nthara, the National Director of World BanK in Liberia, assured the fishing communities and fishermen of their continued commitment to the sector and also encouraged them to convert to the use of internationally certified wire nets. , as planned under the project, which may have fish catches. in a bigger size, better quality and more valuable.
In addition, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Liberia, during his speech, unveiled the fish handling and processing equipment, which includes insulated / glazed fish boxes, fish filleting / cutting tables, fish filleting / cutting tables, solar freezers, aprons, caps, knives, among others to meet the challenges faced by women in fishing with regard to the preservation of fishery products, resulting in enormous deterioration. He assured the government that with the support of financial partners such as the Japanese government, this project will be extended to all fishing communities in Liberia.
Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, head of the European Union delegation to Liberia, also honored the ceremony. Commenting on behalf of the EU, Ambassador Delahoussse commended the government through NaFAA for putting a lot of effort into ensuring a sustainable and secure marine environment in Liberia.
Concerned about the safety of the environment, Ambassador Delahousse identified plastic as another threat to the ocean, describing it as dangerous to human health.
The head of the EU delegation took the opportunity to call on fishermen to see themselves as an important part of the solution to shape ocean governance in Liberia.
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Liberia, Dr Bhofal Chambers, thanked the partners for this intervention, as it is in line with the chair of the Liberia Pro-Poor Program for Prosperity and Development.