-Donates Fishing Patrol Vessel
The Minister of Environment , Energy and Rural Affairs of Wales, Lesley Griffiths, has officially renamed and handed over the Pride of Wales, a fishing patrol vessel (FPV), to enhance Liberia’s capacity to tackle illegal fishing along its vast coastline.
The handover is a product of extensive discussions between the Welsh Government’s ‘Wales for Africa’ team with the Liberian Coast Guard and Fisheries Authority on the one hand, and the World Bank, EU Fisheries Team on the other hand.
The FPV Aegis, renamed ‘The Pride of Wales’ will increase patrol and vigilance, aimed at safe-guarding Liberia’s fishing industry from the illegal fishing of foreign trawlers.
Minister Griffiths, speaking at the ceremony held at the Conway Marina, Wales, said it was a great honor to hand over such an effective tool that will be of great value to Liberia’s fishing industry, and expressed confidence that the Pride of Wales will serve the people of Liberia for generations to come.
The Welsh Government representative asserted that the handover ceremony represent another important highlight for the Wales to Africa program.
“Such project, will build long standing relations between Wales and Africa, at a time when it is more important than ever to look outward at how we can support projects abroad,” the statement emphasized.
Making remarks at the ceremony, the ambassador of the Republic of Liberia accredited to the Court of St. James, Gurly T. Gibson, stressed that the people of Liberia were delighted by such important gesture from the people of Wales.
Amb Gibson extended the warm sentiments of the Liberian leader to the people of Wales. “I bring you greetings from H.E. Dr. George Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and he has asked me to convey his sincere appreciation for your interest in Liberia and the kind gesture from the people of Wales, to donate the “Pride of Wales” vessel to the Government and people of Liberia.”
Amb. Gibson asserted that such generous donation will be the cornerstone for lasting friendship and cooperation between Liberia and Wales.
“The handover of this vessel will be an inspiration, determination and motivation to help enhance capacity and increase ability of the Liberia National Fisheries Authority to protect the Liberian waters and its operations.”
Amb. Gibson assured the people of Wales, that their kind deeds “will be utilised in contributing towards a viable operation at the Fisheries Authority of Liberia.”
The Liberian diplomat also presented an artistic display of the ‘Liberian handshake’ to representatives of the Welsh Government; as a gift which embodies the unique display of friendship and cordiality from the Liberian people, to the people of Wales.
She applauded the supervision of Mr. Jon Townley, Head of International Sustainable Development/Wales for Africa, for his resilient effort, devotion and patience in making this turnover ceremony possible.
The Pride of Wales (formerly FPV Aegis) was constructed in 1996, has Twin Caterpillar 3408 700 horsepower (hp) diesel engines, consumes 100/120 litre per hour at 17 Knots, has a 500 liter fresh water tank and holds 4000 liters of fuel in two tanks. It has an anchor with 60m chain, navigation equipment including compass and GPS, satellite phone, Furuno Echo Sounder, Koden Radar, search light with remote control, navigation lights and four lifebuoys.