-To Proceed with Liberia-Senegal Fisheries Partnership Framework
The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) says it welcomes the conclusion and findings derived from the Legislature’s investigation in which both Houses of the Legislature have granted consent that NaFAA proceeds to perform all due diligence concerning the Protocol on the implementation of the much-heralded Liberian-Senegalese Fisheries Partnership framework.
DG Emma Metieh-Glassco
As observed by the Committees on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the both Houses, as well as the Committee on Investment and Concession, NaFAA equally agrees with the Legislature that on the overall, the mounting public outcry that characterized the signing of said Protocol was only generated out of misinformation, anchored on lack of proper understanding of the terms and conditions of the Agreement.
It is worth noting that following the conclusion of the Houses’ investigation, it has been established that authorities of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority were in no wrong in the processes leading to the signing of this cooperative framework that encourages investment in diverse areas of the sector, to include: Aquaculture, fish landing and processing facilities, offshore Tunas among others. As a matter of fact, the Senate has required the Executive Branch of government to proceed with the Agreement and that upon consummation, be submitted for ratification in keeping with law.
The entity added “we must hasten to reiterate that the Liberian-Senegalese Fisheries Partnership Agreement has not been fully signed and consummated as have been erroneously communicated to the public by a few individuals who are unfamiliar with the facts and circumstances characterizing the Agreement.”
As have been clarified to the honorable members of the Liberian Legislature, the Agreement when finalized will have a duration of five years, subject to renewal on the basis of the various clauses been committed to. “Again, we want to reemphasize that the 1-6 nautical miles already granted for Liberian canoes will not be affected by this Agreement; and that the Senate has indicated its commitment to working with NaFAA to ensure that the rights of local fishermen are protected,” NaFAA added. Moreover, under Article 3 section 9 of the Protocol, the government of Liberia is not obligated to license all of the number of vessels indicated in the Protocol, and each vessel to be licensed (not individuals) must meet the licensing conditions as required by the Fisheries laws of Liberia.
NaFAA further assured the general public that when the Agreement is finally and fully consummated, Liberia stands to benefit immensely in the areas of food security, job creation, increased revenue generation as well as opportunities for the country’s local fishermen and fish mongers, which supports Pillar 2 (Economy and Jobs) of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
In the meanwhile, “we continue to remain committed to the sustainable management of the country’s fishery resources in a transparent and credible manner that impacts the greater good of the country and its people.”