The Government of Liberia, represented by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, (NaFAA) and the European Union Friday July 6, 2018 concluded a successful Joint Committee Meeting on the EU Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement SFPA.
The EU/Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement is a five-year agreement, providing access to up to 34 EU fishing vessels, to fish in the offshore zone of Liberia’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone, to catch Tuna species.
Under the SFPA agreement, Liberia will receive access fees, a payment for each ton of fish caught, and additional financial support to help build the capacity of NaFAA, to a total of €3.25 million for 5 years (2015 to 2020).
Speaking at the signing ceremony held at the EU Liberia Delegation Headquarters following the weeklong intensive discussion on the SFPA and other cardinal fisheries matters, the Director General of NafAA, Mrs. Emma Metieh Glasco commended the EU for its support in the transformation of the Liberian fisheries sector.
“EU Partnership is greatly impacting fisheries development in Liberia” Director General Glassco said.
The NaFAA Director General added “I am very pleased on this date July 6, 2018 to be signing the Committee minutes on behalf of Liberia. The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement with the EU is a sign of Liberia’s continuing progress in managing our fisheries sustainably, for the benefit of all Liberians. We were able to confirm at the meeting the additional payments to Liberia from EU vessel owners for Tuna caught in 2017, and to agree to look in detail at expanding the agreement to include other fisheries, with direct benefits to Liberia from increased employment for Liberian fishermen, and increased landings into Monrovia.”
“This agreement builds on moves by NaFAA to increase inward investment into the fisheries sector, without risking the increased landings being made by Liberian fishermen, or the fish stocks and eco-systems which support 30,000 fisheries related jobs in the country. We were also able today to confirm further payment of €380,000 to Liberia for catches made in 2017, 40% of which I am pleased to say will contribute directly to funding the Government of Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda.”
The EU Ambassador, Helene Cave said that the EU is ready to ensure the development of the Liberia fisheries sector through the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement which is aimed at enabling Liberia through NaFAA benefit adequately from its water resources as in other Nations.
Ambassador Cave termed the weeklong discussion which initially was held at the Mesurado Pier on Bushrod Island as a mile stone in the development and improvement of the Liberian fisheries sector.
She recognized the level of progress being made by the Administration of NaFAA under the leadership of Madam Emma Metieh Glassco, Director of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority NaFAA.
As a sign of further recognition of the tremendous efforts of Madam Glassco and Staff at NaFAA, EU Ambassador Helene Cave presented an EU T-shirt to the NaFAA Boss during the signing ceremony in the presence of top NaFAA Executives including William Boeh Deputy Director for Technical Services and Augustine Manoballah Deputy Director for Administration among others.
During the meeting, the Liberian delegation presented the current list of authorized vessels, among which there are 10 Chinese trawlers and twenty-one EU vessels.
Several other key components were discussed including new fishing opportunities which formed a key part of the Liberian delegation’s presentation. Liberia proposed to explore the possibilities of new fishery opportunities as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement. Liberia delegation mentioned shrimps and deep waters crabs as the new exploration in the fisheries sector.
Responding following the proposal from the Liberian Delegation during the weeklong deliberation, the EU delegation headed by Ivan Vazquez Perez proposed an exchange of letters between the parties.