With support from the government and people of Japan, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has received 420 Yamaha outboard motorized engines for free distribution to fisheries cooperatives across the nine coastal counties of Liberia.
The nine coastal counties are Montserrado, Grand Kru, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Maryland, and Margibi counties.
According to NaFAA, the gesture came as a result of President George Weah’s visit to Japan in 2019, where he negotiated with the Japanese government to upgrade fishermen from canoe paddling fishing to motorized fishing.
On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, NaFAA offloaded 420 Japanese Yamaha outboard motor engines, and disclosed that the remaining 180 pieces will arrive in the country early next year (2022).
Briefing Journalists, Mr. Augustine Manoballah, NaFAA’s Deputy Director General for Administration, recalled that the gesture was in fulfillment of the promise made by the Japanese Government during President Weah’s visit to Japan.
Mr. Manoballah said distribution of the 420 outboard motor engines received by NaFAA will start on October 23, in Grand Bassa County, to fishermen with paddle canoes.
According to him, President George Weah is expected to launch the outboard motorized engine.
He said that it is the government’s way of upgrading the capacity of fishermen who have used paddle canoes over the years.
“This Government has taught it wise to upgrade the capacities of fishermen from ‘Fanti canoe’ to outboard motor engine to enhance their income generation,” he said.
“The President was able to engage the people of Japan in 2019 to support the fisheries sector, and they agreed to provide Liberia with 600 outboard motor engines to Liberia”.
These engines, he said, are in different categories ranging from four-horse power up to fifteen-horsepower.
For effective monitoring, Mr. Manoballah said the engines will be given to cooperatives, who shall report to NaaFA.
He added: “There will be a training opportunity for fishermen who will receive the engines,” noting that all of the engines have spare parts.
In a related development, a few months ago, NaFAA began the distribution of free thread nets to fishermen in exchange for rubber nets in Montserrado, Bomi, Margibi and Grand Bassa counties. The exercise is meanwhile expected to be extended to other coastal counties.