LIBERIA – The Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) Lenn Eugene Nagbe says the collaborative efforts pioneered by LiMA and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) are not solely seeking to get Liberia off the European Union yellow card list but steps taken to protect the country’s resources, particularly fish.
Commissioner Nagbe spoke when a high-level European Commission delegation from the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) began a three-day fisheries dialogue with the Liberia Maritime Authority and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority represented by its Director General Madam Emma Metieh Glassco in Monrovia on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, to discuss the possibility of removing Liberia from the yellow card list.
Commissioner Nagbe pointed out that Liberia’s fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities is not in the interest of the European Union but for the sustainability of its resources. “it is the duty of Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority and the Liberia Maritime Authority to protect the resources of Liberia”.
Since 2016, Liberia was placed on the European Union yellow card list having been identified as a non-cooperative third-party country in the fight against illegal unreported, and unregulated fishing in the country’s waters. The yellow card is in effect a warning to the West African nation to pay keen attention to safeguarding against illegal fishing activities that are putting the country’s resources in harm’s way.
The LiMA Boss indicated that since the decision was taken, the Liberia Maritime Authority has over the years worked collaboratively with the National Fisheries and AquacultureAuthority in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities.
“The fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing has over the year been a priority of the Liberian government this is why with the support of our partners we have been engaged in many activities,” he stressed.
In remarks, NaFAA’s Director General Emma Metieh Glassco expressed optimism about Liberia receiving a green card from the EU at the end of the dialogue.
Madam Glassco assured that Liberia has met all of the technical requirements set by the European Union on illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities. “We are very optimistic this EU-Liberia dialogue will be successful for the lifting of the yellow card imposed on Liberia”.
For his part, the head of the European Commission Unit for Illegal, Unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fisheries policy Mr.Roberto Cesari acknowledged that Liberia has been making progress in its legal framework and monitoring mechanism, and the team was in the country to further assess the progress made.