MONROVIA-The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has given all operators of paddle canoes widely known as Kru canoes up to June 16, 2021 as grace period for the payment of their 2021 fishing license fees.
NaFAA reached the decision recently following a day-long consultative meeting with chiefs representing fishing communities at the Mesurado Pier on Bushrod Island, minutes after they had pleaded.
NaFAA says the fisheries body would rely on the fishing chiefs for enforcement if voluntary compliance is impressive.
This is the second adjustment in payment schedule less than six months.
Kru Canoe fishermen were given three months (January 1–March 31, 2021) grace period for the payment of their 2021 fishing license fees, following a meeting on January 24, 2021.
NaFAA, through its Director General, Madam Emma Metieh Glassco during that meeting, equally announced a downward adjustment due to the prevailing rate) in the fishing license fees for the paddle canoes across Liberia.
Madam Glassco announced that Kru canoe operators would now pay US$50 United States dollars or its equivalence in Liberian dollars as fishing license fees for 2021 beginning March 31, a policy which was endorsed by the more than 30 fishing Kru chiefs in attendance at the consultative meeting.
Since the postponement for the collection of the fees, not much has been done voluntarily for the fishermen to comply.
Director-General Glassco during the recent meeting with the chiefs, registered her disappointment in the snail-paced voluntary payment of the fees, and the role of the chiefs in ensuring compliance after they had committed themselves.
She then informed that NaFAA backed by the Liberia National Police, the Liberia Immigration Service and the Liberia Coast Guard would be compelled to execute enforcement if the voluntary compliance fails.
The Director-General assured that all those volunteering themselves to create awareness towards the compliance and enforcement efforts will be issued NaFAA tagged reflective vests.