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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Environmental Justice Foundation Expands Impact in Liberian Fisheries Sector

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The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has announced ambitious plans to further strengthen the Liberian fisheries sector through the European Union-funded Communities for Fisheries Project.

During a recent Steering Committee meeting, Mr. Cephas Asare, the West Africa Regional Manager of EJF, revealed that in the fifth year of the EU-funded project, they intend to map fishers’ landing smoking spaces and Territorial Use Rights for Fishing (TURF) for Collaborative Management Associations (CMAs).

Mr. Asare explained that TURF is an area-based fishing right that allocates secure, exclusive privileges to fish in a specified area to groups, or in rare cases, individuals. The various CMAs would support the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) to manage these areas and ensure sustainable fisheries.

Additionally, EJF plans to provide investigative reporting training for 20 journalists in Liberia. This training aims to empower Liberian journalists to bring attention to the fisheries sector and highlight its crucial contribution to food security, as well as support NaFAA in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Furthermore, EJF will collaborate with NaFAA to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the CMAs. As part of the 2024 plan, three office structures will be built for the Sass Town, Grand Cape Mount County Region one and two CMAs, and the formation of male-dominated Village Savings and Loan Associations (VLSAs) will be piloted in Grand Kru County.

Ms. Maria Winnubst, a member of the European Union Delegation to Liberia overseeing the Communities for Fisheries project, acknowledged that the EU’s ongoing interventions in the Liberian fisheries sector are ending.

However, the EU plans to initiate a new program for the fisheries industry. In the meantime, they will provide technical assistance to NaFAA in the areas of governance in marine fisheries, the aquaculture sector, visibility for fisheries through journalist training, and combating IUU fishing.

The Deputy Director General for Technical Services at NaFAA, William Y. Boeh, commended the European Union and EJF for the high level of transformational support to the Liberian fisheries sector.

 

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