The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, NaFAA has begun two days technical fisheries workship in Monrovia aimed at ending illegal fishing on three treaties to ensure Port State Control, Safety and Labor Compliance at sea in Liberia.
The two days fisheries workshop is jointly organized with the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC). The workshop has brought together government Agencies on Fisheries, Maritime, the Environment, and regional and international Partners.
Declaring the technical workshop opened on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, on behave of the government of Liberia, NaFAA Director General Emma Metieh Glassco disclosed that the partnership with stakeholders has been successful in developing national policies and management instruments. She said, supporting data collection systems with tools and training, helping the small-scale fisheries and indigenous peoples, access resources and markets, and empowering them to be part of the solution through the Collaborative Management Associations.
“ensuring decent working conditions of all fishers, upholding fishers’ safety at sea, and a coordinated approach to increase the involvement of relevant stakeholders in the maritime domain to ensure legal catch from the net to the port is the concern of NaFAA and stakeholders”, Hon. Glassco specified.
NaFAA Boss added that the steps are essential in the fight against illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing with international instruments like Port State Measure Agreement (PSMA), Cape Town Agreement (CTA), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) C188. Liberia will need a universal design to eliminate Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.
She stated that NaFAA continues to work with national and international partners alike, to support Liberia’s efforts to effectively adhere to and implement the PSMA, CTA, and ILO C188. NaFAA is committed to strengthening its institutional capacity and improve its monitoring, control, and surveillance systems and operations.
The Liberian Fisheries Boss stressed that transparent information exchange and digitalizing are crucial to boosting the PSMA, CTA, and C188 as checks should be based on early warning by sharing information. DG Glassco explained that NAFAA, under its newly setup digital initiative, will play an essential role in promoting the needed technology and innovation, data sharing, and novel approaches consistent with the best standards.
She furthered that to facilitate information exchange among relevant stakeholders; Liberia is developing applications for designating national contact points for each treaty and with support from the World Bank, will be building a national fishing port to coordinate PSMA. “NaFAA is now finalizing a national fisheries inspection plan and the Port State Measures Implementation Strategy which she disclosed would form part of the two days technical fisheries workshop discussion to support the PSMA, CTA, and C188”, the DG informed the media.
Madam Glassco said the mechanization of the Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) system will increase access to near real-time information exchange and increase transparency. It will also be available to all stakeholders comprising the MCS Coordination Committee, most of who were present at the workshop.
The Fisheries Boss said actions in transforming the fisheries and aquaculture sector is necessary to enhance its contribution to the SDGs goal. Sustainable development is vital to address the root causes of poverty and hunger, she noted. She said Blue transformation, intensifying sustainable aquaculture, transforming fisheries through better management, and improving the efficiency and inclusiveness of fish value chains, will be critical to ending hunger and poverty. The Liberian Fisheries Boss indicated that to achieve these aspirations, the fisheries sector has enormous potential it needs to be fully integrated into our efforts for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.
Madam Glassco Pointed out that the world’s appetite for aquatic food shows no sign of slowing, particularly in the West Africa sub-region, and the 2020 State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture report of the FAO clearly shows the significant and growing role in providing food, nutrition, and employment globally.
NaFAA informed the media that global fish production has reached the highest levels ever, providing almost half the world’s population with nearly 20 percent of their average animal protein, providing a reported 80 percent of animal protein source to the local people in Liberia. Today, about 10 percent of the world’s population depends on the value chain of aquatic products for livelihoods and income. As such she noted that demand should be met by more sustainable supply from aquaculture.
The Secretary-General of the FCWC Seraphin Dedi Nadji announced that FCWC is established to bring together Members States, join their effort to Partners to participate together actively in sustainable fisheries management in West Africa region with key action in combatting IUU fishing and associated crimes.
Hon. Seraphin Dedi Nadji stated that under the two days workshop, FCWC and the Pew Charitable Trusts (PEW) aims are to inform participants on the international instruments that strengthen maritime governance at the regional and national level. The Secretary-General stated that the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA) and the International Maritime Organization’s (CTA).
Hon Nadji noted that the international instruments, along with the International Labour Organization’s Work in Fishing Convention No. 188 (C188), all include requirements related to port inspections. He noted that their harmonized application would ensure that ports represent an effective front in combating IUU fishing, to improve safety and health in the fisheries sector and labor conditions on board fishing vessels.