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Liberia Launches First Research Scientific Vessel to Boost Fisheries Sector

The Government of Liberia through its National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has launched the first state-of-the-art “Research Scientific Vessel” in the Fisheries Industry intended to enhance the assessment of fish stock in Liberian waters.

The initiative which seeks to boost the fisheries sector of Liberia aims to collect requisite data in the coastal areas of the country, the taxonomy of the fish stock, the breeding, habitat, and distribution of the stocks (area), was commissioned on Friday, January 26, 2024 with support from the Moroccan Government.

The Research Scientific Vessel which is named and styled “R/V AL HASSAN AL- MARRAKCHW” is part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in January of 2023 between the Liberian and Moroccan governments for the cooperation and conduct of a research vessel in Liberia.

Speaking during the commissioning ceremony on Friday at the Bong Mines Pier in Freeport, Monrovia, the Director General of the National Fisheries of Liberia (NaFAA), Emma Glassco, described the move as timely and significant to Liberia’s quest of industrializing its fishing sector.

Madam Glassco narrated that the lack of scientific data on the assessment of fish stocks has over time affected Liberia’s fisheries sector in attracting potential investments, especially from the private sector.

The NaFAA Boss expressed confidence that with such Research Scientific Vessel from Moroccan Liberia is close to going into full-scale fisheries commercialization by providing comprehensive research on the actual status of her territorial Water in as to establish the kinds of fish species and their habitats.

“Ladies and gentlemen, today marks a major achievement of a milestone as we endeavor to collect the requisite data on our marine resources and ensure the sustainable management of these valuable resources. This Fish Stock assessment exercise is an activity which seeks to collect information on the abundance of the various kinds of fish species within our water in terms of its commercial value and ecological importance”, Madam Glassco noted.

She said, “Over the years, we have applied the precautionary approach in managing our fish resources, to avoid overfishing. This gap has limited our ability to engage in full industrial fishing. As we kick off exercise today, we believe we are a step away of from going into full-scale commercialization, depending on the reports from research”.

The NaFAA Director General used the occasion to commend the government and people of Morocco for their high-level support of dedicating such a comprehensive research shipping vessel to be used on Liberia’s territorial water.

For his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Maritime, Fisheries, and Rural Development of Morocco, Mohammed Sadiki, acknowledged the partnership between both countries, stating that the role of the fisheries sector is important in the fight for food insecurity in the African Continent.

He emphasized that the bold initiative is significant to enhancing the scientific data in the Liberian fisheries sector and to have sustainable fisheries management.

“At the time climate change and its aligning effects on food production system become a reality for everyone, the role of the fisheries sector takes importance in our fight for food sovereignty of our continent. For this fisheries research and various kinds of fish stocks of marine in our system are incontestable prerequisites for sustainable fisheries management, and today is a significant moment for Liberia as a country, the Morocco Agriculture Minister, Sadiki, disclosed.

For their part, the World Bank, European Union, and the Food and Agriculture Organization through their representatives reassured their respective commitment and support to working with Liberia in helping to beef up its fisheries sector.

The milestone achievement commissioning program was graced by high-level of government officials and international guests including the Guinean and Ivorian Ministers of Fisheries and Maritime respectively, and representatives from the EU, FOA, and World Bank among others.

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W. Roland James is a Journalist by Profession; a Public Speaker and Interested-Advocate, who is determing to render essential conderable service to the Liberian Society.

He has a passion in Sports reporting, Human interest stories and overall reports from all sectors of relative to the field of journalism. He stands by the belief in the profession that ‘’The Public journal is a public trust; and that a journalist shoud only writes what he/she holds in heart to be true’’.

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