The Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority NaFAA Friday January 24, 2020 led a taskforce comprising the Liberia National Coast Guard, the Liberia National Police and the Liberia Immigration service on an awareness campaign into fishing communities within Montserrado County on the recent adjustment made in the fishing fees structure announced by the Liberian Fisheries Authority.
It can be recalled early January 2020 the Government of Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) announcement an adjustment in the Fishing License Fees for Fishermen engaged in semi-industrial fishing activities throughout the nine coastal Counties based on the capacity of outboard machines/ motorized fishing boats. Making the pronouncement NaFAA’s Director General Mrs. Emma Glassco pointed out that the new fees structure for the small skills fish licensing program takes immediate effect.
Speaking during a jam packed press conference held in her office Mrs. Glassco called on all semi-industrial fishermen across Liberia to cooperate with government in the payment of their 2020 fishing license fees as no fisherman will be allow to fish without the 2020 fishing license.
As part of efforts to ensure compliance and take NaFAA to the fishing communities across the nine coastal counties the Glassco Management kickoff a massive awareness campaign which initially affected fishing communities across the Township of West Point, the borough of New Kru Town and Banjor Virginia in Montserrado Counties.
Speaking to a group of fishermen and fishmongers Mrs. Glassco reiterated that the adjustment is only affecting fishing within the semi industrial category and not those with peddling canoes. She said “now is the time for those using the canoes with high engine capacities to be honest and be in full compliance with the adjustment of the fishing fees”
She reemphasized that “motorized canoes using 1 Horse power to 14 horse power machine will now pay USD$250.00 to obtain their fishing licenses to fish across Liberia and those with 15 horse power to 40 horse power capacity are require to pay USD$475.00. At the same time the NaFAA Boss noted that motorized canoes with 41 horse power to 100 horse power will pay USD$1,250.00 and Migrant or seasonal fishermen will pay USD1,500.00”. This amount she said “can also be paid to NaFAA’s account in Liberians dollars equivalent”.
Madam Glassco noted that absolutely no fisherman will be permitted to fish without being in possession of the 2020 and 2019 licenses as the joint fisheries taskforce comprising the Liberia National Coast Guard, the Liberia National Police, and the Liberia Immigration service will continue vigorous inspection across Liberia’s coastal communities to enforce the payment of the license fees.
She at the same time informed the fishermen and fishmongers who were in large attendance that government through the support of its partners like the World Bank among others will distributed free fishing nets and along with other fishing gears to assist them increase their catch and supply the local markets with more fish.
Commenting on the World Bank USD$3,7Millloon agreement out of the USD$40million signed for the project preparatory agreement, Mrs. Glassco disclosed that it will rehabilitate and expand Mesurado fishing Pier into an industrialized pier with a processing facility which in her words, will add value to the fishing industry of Liberia.
Mrs. Glassco told the gathering of fishermen and fishmongers that the World Bank agreement is “one of the biggest among several other agreements NaFAA has entered into since 2018 when her administration took over the fisheries sector”
The Liberian Fisheries Boss Glassco further stated that the World Bank funding will enable government to construct landing jetties in densely populated coastal counties with huge fishing activities so as to reduce the post-harvest loss and create a more hygienic environment for fish landed by the artisanal fisher folks.
Meanwhile, during the tour the fisheries Boss Lady reminded the fishermen and fishmongers that the fishing license fees for fishermen using the Peddling canoes remains the same as ($3,200.00) Liberian Dollars / 17 USD) until the CDC led government can build their capacities through the provision of free nets and motorized engines.
At the same time, the Liberia National police, the Liberia Immigration Service and the Liberia National Coast Guard informed the fishermen and fishmongers that they remain committed to the enforcement of the Liberian fisheries laws as it related to the payment of their license fees. Therefore, they call on fishermen in all categories to be in full compliance as the enforcement of the fishing fees will not be compromised.
By: Lewis E.B Konoe
Director of Communications and Media Services
National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority NaFAA