The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) and the World Bank are expected to sign a $3.7 million agreement today, January 21 to improve the fishery sector in the country.
A release from the NaFAA notes that the first portion of this amount, US$3.7 million, will be the Project Preparatory Advance that sets the stage to get all the ground work done here for the bigger project.
Emma Metieh Glassco, Director of NaFAA, says the deal is the beginning of a US$40 million project approved by the World Bank to rehabilitate and expand the Mesurado Fishing Pier into an industrialized modern fishing port with a processing facility which, according to her will add value components to the fishing industry in Liberia.
The deal will also see the construction of landing jetties in coastal counties. The development comes after several diplomatic negotiations back and forth for about two years, including distant travels abroad, presenting several documents to serve as justification to convince partners about the socio-economic benefits of the project with a vision to revamp the Fisheries sector as Liberia’s natural resource engine for growth.
“Liberia loses huge revenue as all of our industrial tuna vessels (71) land at other fishing ports within the sub region, such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Sierra Leone. Secondly, our entire fish product for exports are also routed through these countries, which implies loss of direct exports fees,” Director Glassco said.
She expressed further, “I consider this as one of NaFAA’s biggest amongst several other gains in such a short period.”
In February 2019 Liberia signed a partnership agreement with the Government of Iceland to establish and equip national fisheries competent laboratory to meet international standard for the certification and testing of fish product both for imports and exports. The setting up of the Competent Laboratory would allow Liberia to gain accreditation from the European Union, the United States, Japan and other international markets for direct export of fish.