News that the Governments of Liberia and South Korea are partnering to curtail illegal fishing in Liberian waters, is not only welcoming, but highly commendable.
Both countries have reportedly signed a MOU to establish an Integrated Fisheries Monitoring system to control illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Liberian waters. The agreement is to be implemented from 2018 to 2022.
For too long Liberia’s territorial waters have been flagrantly violated by foreign vessels illegally fishing on high sea for commercial purposes without this country benefiting or receiving its deserve revenue.
This has happened for decades primarily because of lack of capacity to effectively patrol our waters and provide security, leaving this key natural environment endowed with so many resources, including fishes and other species exposed to outsiders.
Our coast guards, immigration and other national security forces should be empowered to safe-guard our territorial waters from foreign intruders. Species, including fishes and natural minerals in our waters belong to this country and they should be protected.
We urge the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority or NaFAA in Liberia to work closely with its counterpart – Fisheries Monitoring Center at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries in South Korea to put a check to the continuous violation of our territorial waters and outright stealing of this country’s natural resources.
It is our ardent hope that the MOU between the two countries would go a long way in arresting what has become not only daylight robbing, but serious economic attach on this country.
Resources in our waters should be exploited for the benefit of Liberians, not unscrupulous foreign business people, and we believe this is the prudent way to start by halting intruders.
At the signing ceremony in Monrovia recently, the Coordinator for the West African Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP) Yevewuoz Subah said IUU fishing is a global challenge, stressing an urgent need to contain the practice to enable NaFAA yield needed revenue for the country.
Subah recalled that Liberia has over the years experienced huge economic lost from illegal fishing, adding, the coming of the South Koreans could help reduce illegal activities in the country’s fishery sector.
We couldn’t agree with him any better. As a nation, we believe everything necessary should be done with the help of our partners in addressing this serious attack to our marine economy not only for present generation, but posterity.