Liberia: NaFAA, Ghana’s Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture Development Sign MOU to Combat Illegal Fishing
The Government of Liberia, through the National Fisheries & Aquaculture Authority in collaboration with Liberia Maritime Authority the Government of Ghana, through its Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in combating illegal fishing activities.
The MoU will also promote and facilitate cooperation in fisheries inspection and related activities as well as ensure an effective administration and control over flagged-fishing and fishing-related ships of the Parties with respect to their national laws and regulations and international conventions to prevent, deter, and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Through the framework of the MOU, the two countries will cooperate in the areas of harmonized inspectorate regime, joint inspection exercises of fishing and fishing-related vessels, and exchange of information on monitoring, control, and surveillance.
The MOU is in accordance with Article 6 of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which provides that the Parties shall cooperate within the bounds of their respective national laws and regulations as well as relevant international conventions to which they are parties. It follows a similar MOU signed on November 2, 2022 between the Republic of Liberia and the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire.
The Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority of Liberia, Honorable Emma Metieh Glassco, signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia and the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya East Constituency of Ghana Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson signed on behalf of her government.
Making remarks at the signing ceremonies, Honorable Emma Metieh Glassco recalled the longstanding cordial relations between Ghana and Liberia and that the MOU further strengthens that already mutually beneficial relationship. She emphasized that IUU fishing is one of the most severe problems affecting world fisheries and the main obstacle to achieving sustainable fisheries globally.
The NaFAA DG also provided that the MOU will promote and facilitate cooperation in fisheries inspection and related activities to ensure effective administration and control over flagged fishing and fishing-related vessels of our respective countries as stated in the purpose of this MOU. Concluding her remarks, she suggested the need to use the MOU as the first step to strengthening collaboration as member states of the Mano River Union (MRU) and develop programs for joint actions in the fight against IUU.
For her part, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development of Ghana, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson recalled the longstanding good relations between Ghana and Liberia and reminded everyone that fishing contributes significantly to the GDPs of Ghana and Liberia.
Speaking about illegal fishing, she said about billions of dollars that are lost through IUU fishing annually and the social and environmental impacts it has on countries and fishing communities.
Hon. Koomson stressed the need for Liberia and Ghana to cooperate in the areas of closed fishing and fishery research for better fishery replenishment and fishing outcome.
The Senior Deputy Commissioner for Maritime Affairs of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Cllr. Margaret Ansumana and the Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and MP for Trobu Constituency, Greater Accra Region of Ghana Hon. Moses Anim, witnessed the program.
In the coming months, the Liberia Maritime Authority and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority will commence the practicalities of fully implementing the MOU for the benefit of both countries.