NaFAA, Fisherfolk Settle Down on Controversy Over Net Exchange Program

DG-and-Fisherfolks NaFAA, Fisherfolk Settle Down on Controversy Over Net Exchange Program

Authorities of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) and fisherfolks representing fishing communities in parts of Montserrado County on Thursday April 15, 2021 resolved what was degenerating into a serious tension.  

The disenchanted fishermen early Thursday morning trooped on the office of the Cooperative Management Association (CMA) in New Kru town, kicking against the planned ‘Net Exchange Program’. The CMA serves as a liaison between fishermen and NaFAA.

The Fishermen went to the point of besieging the official vehicle of the Deputy Director General of NaFAA, Hon. William Y. Boeh while he was taking their leadership to the central office of NaFAA near LPRC for a meeting with Director General Emma Metieh Glassco.

Earlier in New Kru Town at the CMA office, the aggrieved Fishermen were seeing with stalks in their hands demanding the presence of Mr. Nyantee Sleh who heads the CMA, alleging that he did not seek their interest while in discussion with the leadership of NaFAA on plans to exchange their rubber nets with the thread nets which is internationally acceptable.

The aggrieved fishermen also accused Mr. Sleh of not representing their interest at the level of the CMA as such they are prepared to have his entire leadership forcibly replaced.

It can be recalled in late March 2021, the Liberian government through NaFAA, announced the arrival of a huge consignment of internationally recommended multifilament or thread fishing nets, as part of World Bank sponsored project for Sustainable Management of Fishery resources.

Under this program, fishermen using the rubber nets or the monofilament nets will be required to turn over all their rubber nets to NaFAA during the free distribution to receive the thread nets or the multifilament nets.

The protesting fishermen said the nets brought in the country would undermine their catch once they succumb to the exchange program, while announcing their objection ahead of the distribution scheduled to take place across fishing communities soon.  

But at a brief meeting with the fisherfolk at the headquarters of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority head office, it was understood that the disenchantment was provoked by misinformation and disinformation over the distribution of the nets.

The spokesman of the ‘Point Four’ fishing community, Lionel B. Smith informed authorities of NaFAA that they weren’t properly informed on how the net exchange program would be, and the genuineness of the nets to be distributed among them. Smith said they were excluded from a meeting intended to create awareness about the nets and other activities.

He noted that “fishermen have not gotten the true essence of the program, and promised to be ambassadors of NaFAA to spread the good news of the ‘nets exchange program’.

Speaking earlier, Director General of NaFAA, Madam Emma Metieh Glassco told the aggrieved fishermen that the government through the fisheries Authority has no intention to strangulate fishermen. The head of NaFAA Madam Glassco said, NaFAA was working to explore resources directed at improving the livelihood of fishermen in the country.

Madam Glassco noted that “little by little the government through NaFAA would face out the rubber nets from coastal communities, but before that time, the corridor would be created for importers to supply the market with the acceptable and recommended multifilament nets or thread nets for fishermen to purchase”.

“Government through NaFAA has no plan to begin enforcing the removable of rubber nets from coastal communities, not now and it is not possible, the NaFAA boss lady pointed out.

 

Signed_________________________________

          Lewis E.B Konoe

          Director

          Communications and Media Services

          NaFAA

          0770039589/0777201667

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