LIBERIA: NaFAA Arrests Eight Migrant Fishing Boats – On Coastal Patrol

Flashback Lone Star Patrol Vessel departing the Mesurado Pier for sea patrol on November 16, 2021 for Southeast Liberia, on joint enforcement and compliance mission.

Maryland-The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, NaFAA has arrested several illegal Ivorian fishermen on eight (8) migrant boats while on Fisheries Patrol between the Liberian and Ivorian boarder in Maryland County.

The joint enforcement and compliance team which includes the Liberian Coast Guard arrested the illegal Ivorian fishermen fishing within Liberian waters without licenses or authorizations.

According to a NaFAA press release, the migrants will be made to register each of the boats and fined US$7,500 for violating the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management and Development Law of 2019. Currently, the boats are impounded and engines under seizure until their owners can comply with the penalties levied.

The southeast of Liberia particularly Maryland, Grand Kru, Sinoe and River Cess Counties are associated with high level of illegal fishing activities involving Ivorian, Ghanaian and Togolese fishermen due to the common border with Ivory Coast and inadequate MCS presence.

It can be recalled on Tuesday November 16, 2021, a joint compliance and Enforcement team comprising Fisheries Inspectors of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) and the Liberia Coast Guard departed Monrovia to ensure full compliance of the Liberian fishery regulations in southeastern Liberia.

The compliance and enforcement team was expected to tour fishing communities to ensure fisher folks comply with regulations governing fisheries management in the country including collection of fishery license fees and the usage of proper/legal fishing gears. The team will also ensure cold storage operators are compliant as it relates to the payment of their 2021 cold storage fees and that their facilities meet hygienic conditions.

During the briefing session prior to their departure, the Chairman of National Fisheries Compliance, Director S. Ahmed Sheriff charged the fisheries inspectors to cautiously execute their mandates as non-compliance to the Fishery Regulations is a threat to the generation of national revenue.

Meanwhile, this exercise will continue in mid-January 2022, simultaneously with land patrol across the nine (9) coastal counties to ensure full compliance of the Fisheries Regulations, eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and curb revenue leakage.

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