The government through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFFA) and the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) recently launched a three-year National Plan of Action to sustain sharks and rays management, a release from the entity has said.
The new plan of action for sharks and rays, according to the release, is expected to address activities that are undermining the sustainability of sharks and rays, because data on the species are expected in the three years for the the National Plan of Action for sharks (NPOA) that comes as part of a response mechanism to conserve the spices and ensure the long-term survival of sharks and rays.
A field-based research report presented by EJF at NPOA launch states that at the period of 2013 and 2016, EJF recorded 19 sharks and rays species that are found on the red list of threatened species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), EJF report says.
Species on the red list of IUCN include the Great Hammerhead Shark, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Smooth Hammerhead Shark, Blackchin Guitarfish, White-spotted Guitarfish, Bigeye Thresher Shark, Chilean Devil Ray, Bentfin Devil Ray, Giant Devil Ray, Blue Shark, Shortfin Mako Shark, and Longfin Mako Shark.
Additionally, EJF report claims that industrial vessels, small-scale traditional fishing fleets, and illegal fishing practices have a big share in the drastic reduction of sharks and rays in Liberia. The report further states that shark and ray lack a legal form of protection in the West African State.
However, EJF’s Project Coordinator for West Africa, Amdeep Sanghera, says that the execution of Liberia’s first sharks and rays sustainable management plan of action could change the way fishers react to sharks and rays in the country.
Sanghera says that the bold commitment undertaken by the Liberian government to sustainably manage sharks and rays confirms Liberia as an emerging leader on marine conservation.
“Undertaking this bold commitment to act now to conserve its threatened sharks and rays highlights not only strong national governance but also confirms Liberia as an emerging leader on marine conservation in the region and in the eyes of the world. EJF looks forward to working with the Liberian government to help make implementation of the national plan a success,” says Amdeep Sanghera, EJF’s coordinator for the project.
A statement sent from the the director-general of NaFFA, Emma Glassco, stresses that careful monitoring and sustainable management of sharks and rays is key to reaching a long-term solution for both Liberian fishing communities and the ecosystems on which they depend.
Mrs. Glassco, applauds EJC for their findings, as she assures effective implementation of NPOA for sharks and rays.