Conservation International Foundation (CI), a group committed to the preservation of nature has donated several equipment to the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) which valued over US$30,000.00 to enhance the institution’s capacity in combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and to address environmental issues affecting coastal communities in Liberia.
The materials donated include laptops, mini camera (water proof) and accessories, handheld GPS (water proof), tablets, tablet cases, Power Banks, rain boots and rain gears. NaFAA is a Liberian government institution responsible for the management of fisheries resources.
Making the donation on August 4 at the NaFAA’s Corporate Headquarters on Bushrod Island, the Conservation International Country Director, Dr. Peter G. Mulbah said he was delighted that his institution is collaborating with the Liberian fisheries management in enhancing its capacity to execute its mandate.
“Today, I’m happy to announce that we are here to make a donation in the amount of 30,716.50 United States dollars in kind, which is the cost of the materials,” said Mulbah.
He added that the support would capacitate NaFAA in improving the data collection process of the Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) for artisanal fisheries - in kind grant.
Mulbah added the project provides support to fishmongers to develop and scale up business support of the fisherfolks, to effectively manage and own their resources.
He said this involves provision of legal fishing gear, training of fisherfolks on management and group dynamics.
Mulbah noted that the project contains a component which calls for community fisheries improvement in southeastern counties, specifically Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru and Maryland.
The Conservation director said the donation is a product of “the Blue Oceans Programme” which came after the successful hosting of the first Blue Oceans Conference in West Africa.
The conference was co-hosted by Conservation International Liberia, the Swedish Embassy in Liberia and the Government of Liberia through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the country’s fisheries body.
“The Blue Oceans Programme is implemented in collaboration with government agencies namely EPA, NaFAA, Liberia Maritime Authority, Forestry Development Authority, Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, Cooperative Development Agency”.
“We intend to enhance the NaFAA engagement and management at the local level by supporting and building the capacity of NaFAA field staff in the Southeast” he added.
Receiving the items, NaFAA Deputy Director General for Administration, Augustine Manoballah, lauded the effort of Conservation International for the donation.
According to him, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) is a major challenge in sustainably managing fisheries resources worldwide.
Manoballah stated that he is hopeful that the intervention will be sustained as an enhancement to the capacity of NaFAA Staff in fighting IUU fishing.
“If we’re to sustainably manage our fisheries resources, the fight against IUU fishing is fundamental. So, at this point in time to have one of our major partners to ensure that we enhance our capacity is laudable,” Manoballah said.