LIBERIA – The Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture has recounted the numerous support President George Manneh Weah CDC led government has given the Liberian fisheries sector from 2038 to the present thus creating an enabling environment for the fisherfolks.
Addressing fishermen and fishmongers from across the nine coastal counties in Liberia Friday, January 20, 2023, at the D-Tweh football field in the borough of New Kru Town during the grand official launch of president Weah’s free lifejackets to the fisheries sector to mitigate deaths at sea, Madam Emma Metieh Glassco emphasized that President Weah has provided numerous support to fishermen and fishmongers since the ascendency of his CDC led government.
“Today, we have been able to acquire concessions loans signed under your signature into law at an amount of $60M, geared towards the development of the fisheries sector to address the infrastructure gaps that have undermined the growth of this sector; to mention a few such as the construction of fishing Ports and landing, processing and storing facilities”.
Recounting president Weah’s intervention Madam Glassco stressed that, it is only the CDC-led government that has given the fishermen of Liberia the due recognition and support and provided them a seat at the table to participate in decision-making, especially on matters that affect them.
She further recounted that it is in president Weah’s government that the First Lady of Liberia purchased land to construct a modernized fish processing facility for fishmongers.
Additionally, the Liberian Fisheries Expert pointed out it was through the CDC government, that the seamen union/seafarers of Liberia got their training to become international seafarers since 1987 and president Weah was gown by them as Chief Patron of the Seaman Union.
Moreover, madam Glassco indicated that never in the history of Liberia that the fisheries sector, especially the local fisher folks, has ever gotten a high level of support and attention from a sitting government.
“Never in the history of Liberia have they gotten so many subsidies such as nets, fish handling, and processing equipment (solar freezers, cutting knives, tables, cellophane boxes), outboard engines as well as the transition from Canoes to fiberglass boats”.
She mentioned that Liberian Fishermen remain grateful for the high level of attention president George Weah has given them.
“Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen, today we are here for another significant milestone in your commitment to transform the lives of the people of Liberia.”
Meanwhile, Madam Glassco has assured President that with the mandate of her administration, NaFAA will effectively implement the mass distribution of the jackets to all local fishermen leadership across Liberia, stating that every fisherman will benefit.
Making a disclosure on the number of deaths at sea NaFAA Boss stated that, NaFAA and her partner since 2019 to 2022, recorded over 209 deaths at sea, with 2019 recording the highest number with 84 deaths.
She said it was further established that these deaths resulted from 606 sea accidents recorded, and Grand Bassa reporting the highest number of 112 accidents and Montserrado reporting 108 incidents.
Madam Glassco said reports have shown that the casualty at sea is mostly due to the lack of safety equipment or gear such as life jackets, especially for the artisanal fishermen.
In another development, the head of the Liberian Fisheries sector has disclosed to President Weah that on January 25, 2023, NaFAA in collaboration with the University of Liberia will be launching Bachelor in Fisheries Program at the University of Liberia, where the young people of Liberia would acquire the needed technical skills and knowledge to harness the great opportunities the Liberian fisheries sector presents.
For their part, the fishermen from the nine coastal counties commended the president and the CDC government for what they called the ‘usual timely intervention to them through NaFAA’.
The fishermen spoke through their leadership of the Co-Management Association, CMA, and the Liberia artisanal Fishermen Association, LAFA.