In an effort to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing across Liberia, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has fined an illegal fishing boat containing seven migrants from the Ivory Coast US$5,000 consistent with the 2010 fisheries regulations.
According to NaFAA, the Ivorian boat, which had entered Liberian waters illegally, was arrested Wednesday, April 1, 2020 in Grandcess, Grand Kru County, with the help of the Community Based Surveillance Network, a local community based organization along fishing communities in Liberia’s nine coastal counties.
The seven illegal Ivorian fishermen are currently being detained by the local authorities in Grandcess and their semi industrial fishing boat has been confiscated.
A NaFAA press release issued Saturday April 4, 2020 quotes its Deputy Director General for Technical Services as saying that the illegal Ivorian fishing vessel SP202 was spotted by some members of the Community Based Surveillance Network who later informed NaFAA’s fisheries team in Grandcess about the illegal fishing activities.
Mr. William Y. Boeh indicated that illegal fishing activities are being perpetrated constantly by group of Ivoirians, Ghanaians, and Togolese among others despite several arrest and fines imposed on them due to the help of the Community Based Surveillance Network.
Hon. Boeh stated that some of the illegal fishing boats are currently beached at the Mesurado Pier due to the failure of their owners to pay fines imposed on them by NaFAA for illegally fishing in Liberian waters.
He further that majority of the illegal fishing activities are being carried out along the Southeastern part of Liberia where major fishing activities are taking place.
Meanwhile, the Director General of NaFAA is calling on authorities of the Ministry Health, National Public Health Institute of Liberia and the Liberian Immigration Service to probe the fishermen’s legality and status referenced to the COVID 19.
Mrs. Emma Metieh Glassco is commending members of the community and its community-based surveillance network for the level of engagement and urged them to continue to be vigilant at all times for the safety of Liberia.