MONROVIA – Over 50 women artisanal fish processors and fishmongers in Grand Bassa County were this month trained on safe handling and processing of marine fishes. The training on safe-handling and processing of fish and other seafoods was organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with the Liberian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The training brought together women and girls from three fishing communities, Little Bassa, Dorh and Plunker, engaged in fish drying, smoking, and retailing. The five-day training, from February 13-17, equipped the women with simple techniques and best practices for handling, preservation and processing of fishes and other marine products.
The training, held in District #1 of Little Bassa, covered topics including sanitation and health, good hygiene practices for fishing boats, fish spoilage, safe fish handling practices, fish processing practices and preservation techniques, fish oil, fish transportation and marketing.
Participants also visited various fish landing sites, fish dryers and smokers to observe current management practices and provide guidance for improving ongoing operational practices.
Welcoming the training, the Town Chief of Little Bassa, William Tarr, encouraged the participants to give full attention to the training program as the knowledge would benefit them.
The Community Chairlady of Little Bassa, Madam Maylah Gueh, extended appreciation to the UNDP, promising to use and share the knowledge gained with other local communities and surrounding fish landing sites. She appealed for a cold storage facility saying extensive fish spoilage because of lack of freezers was a major challenge.
The Environmental Technician of EPA in Grand Bassa, Richard K. Wheator, emphasized the need for safeguarding the environment including the waters and other marine resources.
The President of Grand Bassa Collaborative Management Association, Emmanuel Gbah, appealed for more training to reach more fisherfolk.
The Grand Bassa County Fishery Inspector, Mr. Benjamin S. Sieh, also admonished the women to use the knowledge gained to improve the quality of fish production and processing in the county.