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TO ENHANCE FIGHT AGAINST ILLEGAL FISHING: -LIBERIA, SENEGAL SIGN FISHERY MOU

Dakar, Senegal-The Liberian government through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) have signed a Fishery Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government and people of Senegal through its Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy.

In a dispatched from the Dakar, Senegal, the MoU aimed at promoting and facilitating cooperation in fisheries inspection and related activities to ensure effective jurisdiction and control over flagged fishing and related ships of the Parties with respect to their national laws and regulations including international conventions to prevent deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

At the same time, the MoU which was signed between both parties on Monday, February 6, 2023 is also intended to serve for the exchange of information on related activities to strengthen fisheries governance.

Making remarks before the signing ceremony in the Senegalese capitol Dakar, NaFAA Director General, Emma M. Glassco said the signing and implementation of the MoU will further strengthen the efforts that are already being carried out in the sub-region to ensure that the Central Gulf of Guinea is safe and secure.

“For instance, through the PESCAO project, we are implementing a regional Fisheries Monitoring Center hosted in Ghana; there are joint sea patrols being conducted between Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana; and there are joint inspections of flagged fishing and fishing related vessel calling into our ports.

“And studies have shown that the fisheries resources are under considerable pressure globally and in the West African sub-region, particularly from high levels of IUU fishing for which the FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) was approved by the FAO Conference at its 36th Session on 22 November of 2009.

“Today, we are here to take action and strengthen our collaborative roles in tackling this IUU menace by adopting stronger positive actions that have been implemented among other regional countries. So, the the objective of the MoU is to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing through the implementation of effective port State measures, and ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and marine ecosystems,” madam Glassco explained.

She maintained that the MoU is a tool for both countries to effectively implement the PSMA, and their respective national laws, regulations and relevant conventions to which both countries are parties in respect of harmonizing inspectorate regime, joint inspection exercises of fishing and fishing related vessels, exchange of information on monitoring, control and surveillance, the designation of each country seaports, and the usage of ports.

The NaFAA boss further mentioned that Senegal has one of the biggest fishing economies in Africa and Liberia has a lot to learn from the years of experience of Senegalese Fisheries Experts as such it was on this background that this agreement came to being.

Meanwhile, Glassco is at the same time proposing review of the implementation of the 2019 Agreement and its appending Protocol through the constitution of a Joint Committee to make possible amendments where necessary.

She added that over the years, IUU fishing has been described by the international community as one of the most severe problems affecting world fisheries and the main obstacle in achieving sustainable fisheries globally.

This, madam Glassco said has also been reported that West Africa lost over US$3.3 billion in revenue to IUU fishing, an amount she noted could provide better living conditions.

Senegal Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Pape Sagna Mbaye said Senegal is prepared to work with Liberia in enhancing the fisheries programs of their respective countries, and stated that the implementation of the MoU which is gear toward combating the IUU fishing that will further strengthen the existing relationship among countries of the south region.

The Senegalese Fisheries and Maritime Economy Minister at the same time also commended the Liberian Fisheries delegation for traveling over to Daker, Senegal for the historic signing ceremony which is aimed at benefiting both countries and the region at large.

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