Monofilament nets, or rubber nets, have proven to be hugely dangerous to biodiversity and poses ecosystem degradation; hence, a global call to halt its usage for fishing purposes around the world.
Madam Glasco, NaFAA Boss
Liberia, being a signatory to global initiatives aimed at protecting its waters and the resources thereto, have joined such endeavor with a call for the withdrawal of Monofilament nets or plastic nets from the Liberian waters.
In the quest to achieving this, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) at the start of the week convened a stakeholder meeting of various actors within the Fisheries and Aquaculture sectors with the objective of soliciting their cooperation in achieving said objective.
The gathering brought together some leaders and members of the Liberia Artisanal Fishermen Association (LAFA), as well as fish farmers and other importers in the Fisheries industry of Liberia.
Making introductory remarks at the stakeholders’ meeting, the Deputy Director General for Administration, Augustine Manoballah, on behalf of NaFAA encouraged all in attendance to have an open conversation on the meeting’s subject.
Manoballah said such interaction would generate the needed feedback to inform future decisions by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority.
In response to a further inquiry of NaFAA’s efforts in negotiating access to financing for local fishermen, Manoballah assured the Stakeholders of NaFAA’s commitment in engaging with banks and other financial institutions to ensure that local fishermen have access to financing, as well as a reduction in the interest rate and an extension of the repayment period.
Over the years, access to financing and the attending bottlenecks created by banks and other financial institutions posed huge challenge to actors within the sector, particularly local fishermen.
Speaking further during the gathering, the Director for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance at the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority drilled participants through the historical usage of the monofilament fishing nets, as well as the huge negative impact said usage has on the water resources.
Glasgow Togba intimated that the need to graduate from the usage of the rubber fishing nets cannot be overemphasized considering the fact that such net engages in the catch of infant species which undermines the water reserves.
Moreover, Mr. Togba indicated that because of the rubber nature of the ‘illegal’ nets, they stay for so long in the water and affects the aqua-ecosystem.
Meanwhile, in order to transition from the usage of the monofilament nets, he informed the Stakeholders that NaFAA is in the process of identifying businesses with the requisite capacity to import in huge quantity the requisite and authorized types of nets that will be readily available and affordable for local fishermen.