Authorities of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, NaFAA has lifted a temporary ban on Beach Seine (or draw-way) fishing which is highly prohibited according to the Fisheries Law of Liberia.
Beach seine is a method of fishing that employs a fishing net, called a seine, that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats. Seine nets can be deployed from the shore as a beach seine, or from a boat.
Addressing a news conference on Thursday July 1, 2021 at the central office of the Liberian Fisheries House on Bushrod Island, the Director General of NaFAA, Emma Metieh Glassco, explained that the temporary lifting of the ban on beach seine fishing across Liberia’s coastal waters is a result of a consultative meeting held recently with the leadership of beach seine fishermen in on Bushrod Island.
According to Madam Glassco, during the consultative meeting the beach seine fishermen leadership appealed for a grace period of one year beginning July 2021-July 2022, at which time they promised to transition from such fishing method into a more productive and internationally acceptable fishing method.
Madam Glassco further narrated during the press conference that in the meeting, which was well attended by companies and groups of beach seine fishermen, they also agreed to pay an amount of US$100 or its equivalent in Liberian dollars as registration fees to obtain their licenses to fish for a period of one year.
According to the Liberian Fisheries Expert Madam Glassco, it was at the same time agreed upon during the consultative meeting that no fisherman using the beach seine fishing method will be allowed to fish without license from July 1-15, 2021.
At the same time, NaFAA is requesting all fishermen involved in beach seine (draw-away) fishing to immediately ensure that they register within the fifteen days period provided or risk being arrested and imprisoned.
Madam Glassco stressed that, as part of efforts to enforce the ban on beach seine fishing across Liberia, the government of Liberia through NaFAA has agreed to provide fishermen in that category an opportunity to transition within a period of one year before the overall enforcement of the law prohibiting beach seine fishing.
She at the same time, disclosed that the CDC led government, as part of efforts to empower fishermen in the beach seine category, will provide them with free fishing nets and Yamaha motorized engines to assist in building their capacities, increase their catch and enable them transition from the destructive fishing practice.
The National Fisheries boss however warned that fishermen in the beach seine fishing category have a period of two weeks beginning July 1-15, 2021 to have their companies or groups registered, so as to legitimize their status or otherwise face the full weight of the fisheries Law.
Madam Glassco pointed out that a joint fisheries inspection team comprising the National Coast Guard and NaFAA are currently patrolling coastal communities in an effort to enforce the fisheries laws of Liberia.
Meanwhile, Director Glassco reemphasized that any fishermen caught carrying out beach seine (draw-away) fishing in any part of Liberia without license from NaFAA within the one-year grace period will be fined and imprisoned in keeping with the fisheries laws of Liberia.
She urged all Fishermen in the Beach Seine category to ensure that they are in full compliance of the agreement entered into, providing them a one-year grace period.
NaFAA is therefore urging all fishermen involved in Beach Seine (Draw-way) fishing to immediately report to its Monrovia office, or contact any of its Employees assigned in the coastal counties to begin their registration.