(LINA) – The Government of Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has received a donation of a fisheries patrol vessel from the Welsh government of the United Kingdom.
The donation of the patrol vessel, which is also known as the “Pride of Wales,” was facilitated and transported by the World Bank and is currently docked at the Freeport of Monrovia.
The vessel is a bid to boost the Government’s efforts aimed at curbing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in Liberia’s territorial waters.
The Pride of Wales was constructed in 1996 and has Twin Caterpillar 3408 700 horsepower (hp) diesel engines, consumes 100/120 litre per hour at 17 knots, and has a 500-liter fresh water tank and holds 4,000 litres of fuel in two tanks.
Making remarks upon the arrival of the vessel, NaFAA Director General Emma Glassco said the patrol vessel will boost the fishery sector of Liberia and help curb illegal fishing activities in the territorial waters of the country.
Glassco, on behalf of the Government of Liberia, commended the UK government for the donation, stating that the vessel will help reduce unregulated fishing activities in the waters of Liberia.
“The Government of Liberia is grateful to the Welsh people for such a generous donation; we will collaborate with the Liberian Coast Guard to use it as a vital tool to combat illegal fishing in the Liberian waters.
She, however, indicated that the government is currently working on plans with its development partners to ensure that the vessel donated by the UK government is maintained and operated on best standards.
Glassco added that the government is also working to ensure that the patrol vessel is used to protect valuable fishery resources towards the long-term, sustainable goal in Liberia.
Meanwhile, a NaFAA press release recently indicated that Glassco stated that Liberia is losing huge amount of revenue on a daily basis from illegal fishing activities in Liberian waters.
Glassco named Maryland, Sinoe, Rivercess, Grand Kru and Grand Bassa counties in the Southeast of Liberia as places where illegal fishing activities are prevalent, causing tremendous loss to Liberia.
The NaFAA official, however, noted that with the “latest, timely and generous donation of the fisheries patrol vessel by the Welsh government, Liberia is now in the position to increase its coastal resource security, thus resulting to increased revenue from the fisheries sector.
Glasco added: “This donation has placed Liberia in the position to get on par with other fishing nations and will positively impact the national budget.”