By: R Joyclyn Wea
The Government of Liberia through the National Fisheries Authority (NFAA) has secured a US$10 million grant from the European Union (EU), for the development and improvement of the authority in keeping with international standards.
Director General Glassco
The grant is intended to be used for dredging of the fishing harbor, installation of cold storage facilities in major fishing communities; the NFAA Director General disclosed when she addressed the information cultural affairs and tourism regular briefing in Monrovia.
Emma Metieh Glassco further indicated that this would be used to invest in the research (stock assessment) and initiation of robust aquaculture activities which many countries are focusing on at the moment to boost Liberia’s export capacity.
Accordingly, she disclosed that they are currently exploring opportunities to provide pre-mixed gas for local fishermen, as negotiation is ongoing with the NP gas station to be initial supplier.
The NFAA is also reviewing a Tuna investment proposal worth almost US$300,000 dollar Senegal.
There are plans to place a moratorium on fishing in our waters especially with focus on certain species of fish and sea food that are very scarce; madam Glassco.
The NFAA is considering plans to begin the phasing out of paddling canoes to introduce motorized boats for fishing folks, which will enable them improved their fishing and catch methods and place them on par with their international competitors.
Plans are underway to improve the fish landing cluster located in Robertsport, which includes processing plant, ice refrigerating plant, landing site, smoking oven facility and an ideal fresh fish market madam adding with the help of Iceland partners, the intend to upgrade and improve the fish laboratory where testing and will be done enable us do certification of important stocks.
Glassco further indicated that “We are considering outsourcing our fish processing facilities to private investors or public partnership, but with priority given to Liberian entrepreneurs. Most of our future plans will be tied towards embarking on a robust aquaculture program where a viable future lays therefore creating economic incentives for both industrial and artisanal fisheries to become competitive exporters, thereby bridging the gap of the 33,000 metric tons deficit of fish currently on our local market.”
The NFAA is the principal governmental agency charged with the responsibility of regulating fisheries and aquaculture affairs within Liberia.
In addition to its regulatory functions, the authority generates revenue through fines imposed on violators, licensing fees, import and export permits, and sourcing of grants and funding from development partners.
The NFAA has a huge task to administer and regulate a sector that is very pivotal to the growth and development of food and agriculture sector; hence, smart strategies must be employed considering the fact that fish is a resource that is exhaustible or can be depleted, therefore new source of fishing have to be identified aquaculture or fish farming.
The national fisheries and aquaculture authority was formerly the bureau of national fisheries and was than a component under the ministry of agriculture.
This was transitioned in 2017 to the NFAA by an act of legislature after the controversial executive order #82.