The Government of Liberia and the Japanese government have signed a fisheries grant agreement for the supply of Motorize Yamaha engines to local fishermen in Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa and Rivercess Counties, respectively free of charge.
Speaking at the signing ceremony Monday, October 7, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia, the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority commended the Japanese government for the donation of 400 Yamaha motorized engines to Liberian artisanal fishermen.
According to press release, Mrs. Emma Glassco noted that the “Liberian government reaffirms its commitment that the donation will be used for the improvement of artisanal fishermen catch and subsequently phase out paddling canoes.”
She said, “Fishing is a vital social-economic activity for thousands of Liberians and fishing related activities contribute to the livelihood of tens of thousands more”.
The NaFAA Director General stressed that the artisanal/small-scale fisheries sector has great potential to contribute immensely to the growth of the National Economy.
She said fishermen in the artisanal sector used underdeveloped fishing crafts that cannot allow them to fish long distances as such increasing their fishing effort would improve the catch level.
Madam Glassco emphasized that though faced with numerous problems, the small-scale fishery over time and as of now has remained the main producer of seafood products on the local market, and yet their livelihood remains unimproved.
She noted that sustaining these artisanal fishers has created an alarming concern to the government thereby seeking a grant from the Japanese government that resulted into this agreement and therefore this donation will efficiently boost the fishing effort of the local fishermen to increase the catch, reduce the number of days spent at sea, and further reducing fish spoilage at sea.
The NaFAA Boss declared that the donation will lead to a tremendous decrease in physical loses (spoilage) and astronomical increase in economic gains.Commenting further Madam Glassco said with an average crew of 4 within the Kru fisheries, it is expected that over 2000 fishermen will directly benefit from this donation and at least 8000 indirectly benefiting.
Speaking earlier, Japanese Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Tsutomu Himeno stated that the Yamaha motorized engines to Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority is his government’s way of identifying with the Government and people of President George Weah.
Ambassador Tsutomu said the people of Japan remained committed to the overall development of Liberia and the empowerment of Liberians.Liberia’s Foreign Minister Gbehzongar Findley commended the Japanese government for entering into such agreement which is aimed at empowering local fishermen and also enabling the local fish sellers to earn more money.
In another development, the Liberian government through NaFAA has presented a grant proposal (which is being reviewed by the Japanese government for possible consideration) for the construction of a Modernize Fishing Port/ Landing Cluster which includes Processing Facilities, Dry Docking, Fresh fish Market and Marine Store, valued at 7.8m USD to be constructed in Fanti Town, Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.
During Madam Emma Glassco’s recent visit to the Japanese capitol Tokyo, with President George Weah in July this year, she noted that if the grant proposal is accepted, it will significantly reduce post-harvest loss, add value to fish product being harvested to be sold on the domestic market and in so doing, produce certified high valued fish products for export to International markets. Press Release