LIBERIA – The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah has acknowledged the danger fishermen continue to endure in their fishing trade, describing the fishing ovation as a dangerous undertaking.
In order to reduce such a risk and improve the fishing trade, the President on Friday, January 20, 2023, launched the Free Marine Life Jackets Initiative held under the auspices of the National Fishery and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA). He distributed life-saving vests to hundreds of fishermen during the occasion.
Speaking at the famous D. Twe High School Sports Pitch in the Borough of New Kru Town, where the program was held, President Weah reiterated his Government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of fishermen nationwide.
“We are aware that fishing is one of the riskiest jobs anywhere around the world,” he said. “This is why we see this as a very important initiative because the safety and well-being of Liberian fishermen are of paramount importance and concern to us.”
President Weah said it is the responsibility of his government to protect and provide for fishermen and to ensure that they have a vibrant life.
The President equally acknowledged that the fishing sector is a critical one, not just for its economic rewards to the government, but also for the nation and the welfare of the citizens who squarely rely on it to support their families.
“I have been informed that due to climate change which often leads to the scarcity of fish, our artisanal fishermen have to go further in the deep sea with their dock-outs without navigational skills and safety jackets,” he bemoaned harsh conditions fishermen are exposed to, which is why he mandated NaFAA and Liberia Maritime Authority to ensure that safety materials and other tools are provided to fishermen from time to time.
The President stressed that the launch of the Free Marine Life Jackets Project is geared toward providing the necessary safety and protective mechanisms for fishermen.
The Liberian Leader admonished fishermen to ensure that the jackets distributed to them are used for the intended purpose and are handled with the utmost care.
He thanked the management and staff of NaFAA for undertaking such an initiative in the interest of fishermen.
Several officials of government, as well as hundreds of supporters and well-wishers, joined President Weah at the program.