The Liberian fisheries sector is at the verge of booming under the dynamic leadership of President Dr. George Manneh Weah as the government has attracted US$40million which according to the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority is intended for infrastructure development within five of the nine coastal counties.
Addressing the Information Ministry regular press briefing Thursday September 23, 2021 Madam Emma Metieh Glassco disclosed that the World Bank has approved a new financing loan to improve Liberia’s fisheries sector management and enhance the livelihoods of targeted beneficiaries and increase Government revenues.
“This $40 million fisheries project presents a unique opportunity for at least 300,000 vulnerable indigenous low-income fisher folks; thereby increasing their daily earnings and strengthening food security for the greater population of Liberia through its climate smart approach activities therein,” said Ms. Emma Metieh Glassco, Director-General, National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority of Liberia.
Madam Glassco enthusiastically pronounced that the US$40million is geared toward the construction a modernized fishing port which supports fish value addition process and enhances fish supply value chain. In addition, there will also be construction of artisanal (local fishing) fish landing site with cold storage facilities. Ice flake machines, fresh fish markets at popo beach in Montserrrado, Margibi, Maryland, Grand Bassa and Grand Kru Counties. The construction of these landing and cold storage facilities will address fish poilage/post-harvest losses.
“In Montserrado County the government is going to build an artisanal fish landing site in the Popo Beach fishing community to provide landing opportunities for fishermen from ELWA, Bernard and King Gray fishing communities among others” Madam Glassco emphasized.
The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority Director General Director General explained that the US$40million which is under the Liberia Sustainable Management of Fisheries Project (LSMFP), will also improve conditions for fishermen and women, increase value addition for export, and help address economic vulnerability of the Liberian economy to climate change and vulnerability of food security.
At the same time Hon Glassco further mentioned during the Ministry of Information regular press briefing the fisheries project will impact the rehabilitation of the Klay hatchery in Bomi County as a suitable fish hatchery model and aquaculture research center equipped with a standard laboratory for conducting research on fish feed, fingerling production, testing water quality and fish disease.
She added that in addition, the project will support the establishment of Farmers Field School (FFS) and model farmer scheme that will facilitate knowledge sharing among farmers and modern farmer scheme that will facilitate knowledge sharing among farmers and extension technicians.
At the same time, madam Glassco indicated that “the new World Bank fisheries financing project will contribute immensely to the Liberian economic development, create job opportunities for Liberians mainly in the fishing communities, improve the livelihoods of dwellers of the fishing communities and overall provide food for the Liberian people”.
The Liberian Fisheries Expert said “most of Liberia’s revenue from the fisheries sector has over the years has been captured by other fishing ports within the sub region due to the lack of fisheries infrastructures such as fish landing piers”. She added that most of the industrial ships fishing in Liberian waters land their huge catch in other fishing ports thus reducing the daily revenue intake by the Liberian government. “Liberia as a country lost money from port charges, export charges and the whole value chain” she overly emphasized.
Madam Glassco emphasized that the new financing project supports Liberia fish value addition process and it also enhances the fish value chain. She noted that this latest intervention from the World Bank would make fish supplies will increase daily on the local markets.
In another development, Hon. Emma Glassco has disclosed the arrival in Monrovia of four forty foot containers with 560 pieces of Yamaha engines for free distribution through the established fisheries cooperatives to fishermen across the nine coastal counties in Liberia.
Meanwhile, Madam Glassco is commanding President Dr. George Manneh Weah for providing what she termed as ‘huge opportunity’ for Liberians working within the fisheries sector since taking over as president in 2018.