4000 Artisanal Fishermen, Women Want Landing Facility in Buchanan


About 4000 members of the artisanal fishing community resident at the port city of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County have sounded a clarion plea to the West Africa Fisheries Project (WARFP), Bureau National Fisheries (BNF), World Bank and stakeholders to construct a landing facility at the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The fishermen and women were pointed  out that the construction of a landing facility, including a cold storage, preservation, training and business strategies, are indeed critical to the socio-economic development and progress of the fishing communities at the port city of Buchanan.

The plea was contained in an exclusive interview conducted with the Daily Observer last week at three separate artisanal fishing communities in Buchanan.

The artisanal fishermen and women comprising Liberians and Ghanaians also sounded an SOS call on the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) to prevail on the relevant agencies of the Liberian Government that are allegedly in the constant habit of harassing fishermen and women.

They further explained that current structures on the ground at the various fishing communities in Buchanan are not up to standard in terms of preserving the fish for several months before sale is carried out at the Buchanan and other markets in the country.

“We keenly listened to the Liberian leader’s pronouncement on the importation of agriculture and other farming implements free of duty fees in the county,” the fishermen and women asserted.

The vice chairman of the Fanti Town fishing community, Joseph T. Karr, told our reporter that the community has been experiencing  great difficulty with Liberian custom officials at the Buchanan port of entry, when they (fishermen and women)  try to clear fishing implements imported from abroad.

Asked about bigger vessels’ intrusion into Liberian territorial waters, vice chair Karr said such practices had been dealt with months ago by the Navy Division of the Armed Forces of Liberia {AFL}.

As to why there is an acute shortage of fish on the Buchanan Market, Mr. Karr pointed out that at this time of the year, fishermen and women are preparing their fishing nets for the upcoming season in late October when they expect a massive turnout of more fish in the Atlantic Ocean.

He further indicated that the construction of a landing facility at the port city of Buchanan would alleviate the huge burden on the artisanal fishermen and women in the maintenance of their canoes that needed constant repairs.  

Regrettably, they claimed that their biggest challenge has been the lack of understanding on the part of custom   authorities that imported agriculture-related products should be duty free in    order to boost and enhance agriculture activities in the country.

“I would greatly want the Bureau of National Fisheries {BNF} to concentrate on the professional capacity building of the fishermen and women in the areas of preservation techniques, co-management and other critical business skills,” Mr. Karr stressed.

He also added that socio-economic conditions continue to remain bleak owing to low profit margins and other factors associated with the sustained development, growth and progress of some fishing communities in the country.

Fisherman Karr also frowned on those who continue to use other poisonous chemicals that sometime destroy the young marine resources in rivers and Atlantic Ocean in the country.

For her part, fisherwoman Betty James told the Daily Observer that the provision of cheaper fishing nets and improved training in fish preservation would improve her financial conditions at the port city of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County.

“We have over the years tried with this old methods of drying our fish with wood, but such methods had not given us solid financial strength as compared to our sisters and brothers in other countries in West Africa,” Madam Betty James asserted.

“I’m a mother of five children, three girls and two and only one of the children going to school owing to my current socio-economic conditions in Buchanan City, Grand Grand Bassa County,” Madam James nodded in frustration.

Sadly, she added we sometimes buy those very old net from our counter parts that had lived out their usefulness to meet strong waves of the sea water and other rivers in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.


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