Following the issuance of Executive Order 84 by the Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently, reducing Liberia’s Inshore Exclusion Zone (IEZ) from six nautical miles to three, a measure that irritated the Liberia Artisanal Fishermen Association (LAFA) to reject this new regulation, an official of the Liberia Maritime Authority today, May 30, 2017 addressed a conference to throw light on this new move on the part of the Liberian Government.
Mr. Mulbah K. Yorgbor, Jr., Director of Corporate Communication at the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing today, May 30, 2017 on the preparedness of his institution to professionally take over the new fisheries responsibility, said this new development in this sector will help in the country’s economy growth.
Executive Order 84 quoted Article 7 of the Constitution in which it made reference to the equitable management of Liberia’s natural resources so as to advance the general welfare of the people and the economic development of the country.
The Order said the fishery resources of Liberia have been underutilized for over a decade and the government intends to encourage investment in the sector to ensure the sustainable development and utilization of its natural resources.
It said in furtherance of its intentions to start sustainably utilizing its fishery resources, the government has recognized that the Bureau of National Fisheries, a unit under the Ministry of Agriculture, needs to be granted an autonomous status to enable it meet up with the demands of the fishing industry, and reduce the government’s bureaucracy around the process of obtaining a fishing license.
The government has therefore initiated a process to pass legislation to transform the Bureau of National Fisheries to an autonomous agency of government charged with the responsibility of managing and developing Liberia’s fishery resources, which would eventually attract investment and expand Liberia’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
The Order further said the Liberian government is cognizant of the lengthy process involved with passing said legislation, and realizes the need to institute an interim measure to ensure that Liberia begins the process of reforming its fisheries sector.
In view of the foregoing, President Sirleaf issued an interim measure until such time the National Fisheries Act is enacted into law thus establishing an autonomous fisheries agency.
The Order granted the Maritime Authority complete supervisory and fiscal authority of the Bureau of National Fisheries and Liberia’s fishery resources pending the enactment of the National Fisheries Act. This authority, she said, shall include the promulgation of regulations, guidelines, fees and the granting of licenses and authorizations for the sustainable utilization and management of Liberia’s fishery resources.
Mr. Yorgbor speaking at the news conference assured Liberians that this new Executive Order 84 will help to boost the sector economically, and that people should not worry of its outcome.
WATCH VIDEO OF THE LMA OFFICIAL ADDRESSING THE PRESS