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Emma’s Rising Popularity

-After USD$40M World Bank Grant to NaFAA

The Managing Director of the National Fisheries and Aqua-culture Authority (NaFAA) Madam Emma Glassco is being lauded by a cross-section of Liberians after a successful argument that contributed to the World Bank approving the amount Liberia’s fisheries sector.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular Thursday press briefing in the Charles Gbenyon Hall of the Ministry last week, Madam Glassco explained that just 2 days ago she was at the Finance Ministry for the signing of the first instalment of U.S$3.7M of the amount promised.

According to Madam Glassco, NaFAA will use the money for the expansion and modernization of of the Montserrado Fishing Pier at the National Port Authority has a long history connected to the development of fisheries industry in Liberia.

“It used to be robust and industrialized in the l970s, and it made Liberia one of the exporters of fish to the world market, for the generation of the much needed revenue to government. The export of shrimps used to be one of the most valuable fish from Liberia as a ton of shrimp can cost up to USD$40,000 on the export market,” she said.

Madam Glassco, an eloquent speaker noted that some of the reasons why Liberia has been losing money in the past include: the lack of fishing vessels especially a Liberian owned vessel, so vessels who come here preferred to go and fish in other areas in the sub-region.

“This is why this government is making sure that fishing vessels are attracted to come and fish in Liberia’s territorial waters, as this enables government to sign agreements with them including the surrender of 50% of their profits as taxes to government,” she observed.

The NaFAA boss also articulated that one other untapped valuable fish on the world market which Liberia wants to develop its harvesting in Liberia’s waters is the ‘tuna’, adding that what is happening is that Liberia presently imports most of the fish consumed in the country from Sierra Leone and other countries, a trend that they are working to change by assuring food security in the fisheries sector.

She also explained that because of the constant depreciation of the Liberian dollar on the market, it will be important for the country to invest in the fisheries sector to attract foreign currency and more revenue for government.

Dilating on landing ports in the entire country for boat fishermen, Madam Glassco said it is unfortunate that apart from Monrovia Liberia lacks jetties and fishing clusters, as most of the places where fishermen land their boats in the country are sub-standard and lack hygienic requirements, which is why the construction of fishing clusters in major fishing areas of the country is very important.

“Such clusters will include a landing site, fish drying facilities, cold storage and servicing of fishing boats facilities. We are striving local fishermen to harvest more fish to strengthen food security in the fishing area and add more revenue to local fishermen and the country,” she said. (By JLM)

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