Senegalese Fisheries Agreement Is ‘No Deal’

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Madam Emma Glassco, Director General of NaFAA.

-House’s Plenary Votes for NaFAA to Make Deal Meet Requirements for Ratification

After days of fraught consultations and investigations on the Fishery Agreement between Liberia and Senegal, the Plenary of the House of Representatives has voted to endorse a report from its Joint Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Investment and Concession, that the Fishery Agreement is a “No Deal.’

The report said the Fishery Agreement is still at its embryonic (pre-natal) stage and needs to reach its threshold or maturity to meet legislative involvement because the Ministries of Justice and Finance and Development Planning are yet to sign the agreement to become a legal and binding instrument for ratification of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate.

The House’s Joint Committee further said that any Senegalese business (institution) interested in the Liberian waters must meet the pre-conditions and all criteria set for licenses under our laws. The deal is known as “PROTOCOL ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT OF FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA,”

“Honorable Speaker, Distinguished Colleagues, we are therefore pleased to recommend to this August Body that the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA)be given the chance to perform all due diligence concerning the protocol on the implementation of the Agreement on fisheries and Aquaculture cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Senegal and the Government of the Republic of Liberia,’ the joint committee’s report said.

The chairman and co-chairman of the Joint Committee, and chairmen on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Investment and Concession, Reps. Prince Topkah and Tibelrosa Tarponweh respectively, signed the report.

Others are members, including Rep. Lawrence Morris, Rep. Matthew Joe, Rep. Clarence Gahr and Rep. Byron Zahnwea, all of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Committee. Members of the Investment and Concession Committee, who affixed their signatures, are Rep. Matthew Zarazr, Rep. Acarous Gray, Rep. Alex Grant, and co-chairperson Ellen Attoh-Wreh.

Despite of the House’s recommendation, that NaFAA should be given a chance to meet the full requirements for an approval from the Legislature, there has been much public outcry that the Senegal Fisheries’ Deal is counterproductive and that Liberia would not benefit in terms of including, employment, reduction in illegal fishing activities, and ensuring food security.

According to deal documents, NaFAA only confirmed that 300 Senegalese vessels, which include 200 semi-industrial and 100 artisanal canoes to fish in Liberia’s waters, the document states that vessels under the agreement will fish “in-demand” shrimp and tuna.  The document further states that both shrimp and tuna would be extracted, in spite of the danger these fishing practices pose to marine ecosystem.”

The document further states that the “catch declaration” by vessels under the agreement will be submitted to the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority of Liberia (NaFAA) and declaration will be done at the end of each fishing trip and in all cases before the end of the following month.

The protocol states that any vessel failing to declare catch may be suspended by NaFAA until its situation is regularized and it license may be withdrawn if the irregularity of the situation on the concerned vessel exceeds six (6) months.

“When the owner of the vessel holding a license issued under this protocol violates the above provisions, the fisheries Authority of Liberia may suspend the said license until its situation is regularized. The license may be withdrawn if the irregularity of the situation of the concerned vessel exceeds six (6) months,” the document said.

NaFAA, according to the agreement with Senegal, will require the “declaration of catches” from all registered vessels and subsequently the “landing of catches” for certain vessels. NaFAA has not spelt out how it intends to confirm catch catch reports.

13 COMMENTS

  1. This Liberia’s opportunity to become a major exporter of freshly frozen seafood and create employment for her citizens. Fishermen as well as mon-fisherman.

    • Joan George,
      After the Senegalese teach the Liberians to export freshly frozen seafood, maybe you, weah and the Director of Fisheries can give Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast some land to teach our people how to burn charcoal. It will enhance the pro poor agenda.

      • I’m talking #zliberianization Elijah, you have it wrong. EXPORTER by Liberia to Senegal and other nations. We must lift our people out of poverty..

        • #Liberianization our fishermen go into their waters ND bring fish, crabs, shrimps, etc to be EXPORTED. INVITE THE Senegalese to open fish depots in Liberia and employ Liberians. GOL shld provideo loans for our fishermen to purchase larger vessels.

  2. Madam Emma Glassco, we are with you, and we are making everything possible for the relevant authority to see the need and approve this deal, so the livelihood of our people can come light. this agreement will create more jobs, increase the revenue base of our budget, provide training opportunities of our fishers men to increase the our fishing capacity.

  3. @ Joan:
    Have you been following the notorious fishing habits of the Senagalese? According to news, they depleted their fish stockpile! They moved to Mauritania and decimated the stockpile there too! The Senegalese Government, as alleged, is now highly corrupt! The present Liberian Government does not have the capacity to monitor the local fishing industry, let alone the “bad boys” Senegalese! This deal is not in the best interest of our people!

      • Great, Momolu! Thanks for the correction! However; their fish stockpile was decimated by the “bad boys,” Senegalese!

    • I’m not in favor of issuing 300 licenseso to compete with our fishermen. Rather I’m in favor of the Senegalese being in item to open seafood depots, where freshly frozen seafood can be EXPORTED from Liberia to Senegal and other nations.
      I’m also in favor of investors opening seafood processing plants in Liberia. We need to be EXPORTERS of can fish/seafood.

  4. Liberian Leaders have not mentality changed since 1847. When the Country people come to power things always become worse. Sameuel K. Doe et al., regime can relate. For example, During President Williman R. Tolbert regime, Liberians were empowered through the green revolution.

    Now, Senegal sold her sea to France/EU many years ago, their fish had been depleted due to IUU/over-fishing. This is why they do not have fish due to this mismanagement of the God blessing resources!

    In the case of Liberia, many fishing licenses were issued by past regimes over the past 15 years, without any proper over-sight as we speak, to control all these boats` fishing activities through “Check and balance system”.

    Senegal is coming to Liberia to get fish on her markets, in order to feel her growing population of over 14.8 million people.

    However, there are approximately 500,000 Senegalese who are currently out of job, due to this IUU/illegal fishing, and the lack of fish in their own territorial waters, so how can Senegal than be in the position to provide jobs for Liberians fishermen who been fishing for over decades or teach us sustainable fishery management`s mechanism?

    See (Senegal v France/EU fishing agreement signed many years ago):- http://extwprlegs1.fao.org/docs/pdf/eur139024.pdf

    Why every government that come to power in Liberia only want to sell the nation resources cheap, just to get themselves rich over night? This has been an old-age problem! No Country can develop by these so-called investors.

    Development come out of good nationalistic policy just like Rwanda, Botswana, Mauritius, Indonesia, South Korea, and the rest of these developing Countries.

    I can guarantee Liberians that, when these illegal concession agreements/contracts as we also saw during Ellen Johnson Sirleaf et al., regime are not stop, the poverty rate will definitely increase over time, and do not also forget, there is correlation between high poverty rate, to that of increase in human production/ population growth.

    The best way forward, is to have round table consultations, and invest in our local Liberians fishermen by buying semi-fishing boats, to do their fishing and they (Liberians) can sell their fish to the Senegalese and other interested parties through MOU. This should create more jobs for Liberians, while protecting the marine environment, and harvest for future generations.

    Moreover, you do not have any capacity to monitor the maritime zones, not even the land borders, so how can you than be signing 300 fishing licenses, for Senegalese to come do exploitation of our marine resources?

    Nevertheless, studies have shown that extractive industries do not bring development. This is why Liberia, Sierra Leone, the DR Congo, Central African Republic are all staying at the primitive stage of human life, and being enslaved by these so-called investors as we seeing at the firestone rubber plantation.

    Why every Liberian government only want somebody to come, take our resources in the name of development, and give money for just buying Chinese and Indians rice, and paying government workers?

    The Bong mine, now known as Bomi holes can relate, Firestone is another example. Why if you use 5 million to buy 20 sophisticated used fishing-boats, were we can start industrial fishing ourselves, and export to create more revenues/taxes, while adding values onto the Liberian dollar, does this make sense?

    You think you can only create revenues by auctioning everything cheap, and bringing in foreigners to take jobs that Liberian can do.

  5. Madam Glassco we are with you in this, because the Fisher men they’re discussing are exploting our people by selling fish very expensive.

  6. this is very dumb! why the government should think about out-sourcing fisheries business to a foreign country that will do all to cheat you and does not have your interest at heart; the same is with palm companies, and others. when will this government learn to use its God Given natural resources to create greater market economy to provide the basic essential things (healthcare & sanitation, school, building infrastructure, job offer, and many more) for the citizens.
    I hope that the Senegalese Fisheries Agreement Is ‘No Deal’; SHOULD not STANDS!.
    NOTE: The Senegalese Government will not approve such a deal for the Liberian Government ! Take care of your own people first

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