Abidjan –The government of Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, (NaFAA) last week signed a fisheries Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Cote D’Ivoire through its Ministry of Fisheries.
According to a dispatched from the Ivorian Capitol Abidjan, the MoU is aimed at promoting and facilitating cooperation in fisheries inspection and related activities to ensure effective jurisdiction and control over flagged fishing and fishing related ships of the Parties with respect to their national laws and regulations and international conventions to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.
At the same time, a NaFAA press release quoting the MoU saying in addition, that it will serve for the exchange of information on related activities to strengthen fisheries governance.
Making remarks during the signing ceremony in the Ivorians Capital Abidjan, the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority who spoke through an interpreter said the presence of the Liberia delegation was to practicalized the FAO Port State Measure Agreement by clearly defining their collaborative roles in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated menace taking place across coastal states.
Madam Emma Metieh Glassco stated that studies have shown that fisheries are under considerable pressure globally and in the West African sub -region particularly from high level IUU fishing for which the FAO Port State Measure Agreement was approved during the FAO conference in 2009.
“IUU fishing as it is called, has been described by the international community as one of the worse severe problems affecting the world’s fisheries and the main obstacles in achieving sustainable fisheries globally”
At the same time, Mrs. Glassco explained that the objective of the MoU entered into by Liberia and Ivory Coast is to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated or IUU fishing through the implementation of the Port State Measure Agreement which is aimed at ensuring a long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and marine ecosystem.
Speaking for the government and people of Ivory Coast, the Ivorian Minister of Fisheries, Hon. Sidi T. Toure said Ivory coast is to shortly begin what he called closed season by the end of 2022 and requested Liberia’s participation.
Minister Toure Proposed that Liberia and Ivory coast submit a request to ATLEFCO to carry out what he termed as joint campaign to facility the sharing of experience in the area of fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance. “ I am committed to follow-up on this implementation.”
The Ivory Coast fisheries Minister mentioned that they will shortly emulate Liberia’s example of joint observation patrol on its waters to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities with Liberia’s collaboration with Sea Shepherd a fisheries NGO. “we expected to be a part this agreement and benefit from it”.
Hon. Toure further disclosed that his government wish to learn from the Liberian fisheries authority which has most of its fisheries observers onboard industrial fishing vessels.
Moreover, Hon. Toure commended the Liberian Fisheries delegation for traveling over to Abidjan for the historic signing ceremony which is aimed at benefiting both countries.