Monrovia – Liberia has started engaging a Japanese company to establish a fishery plant that will enable the country export through its aquaculture sector.
Addressing a news conference recently in Monrovia, the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), Emma Matieh-Glassco said NaFAAL has begun a conversation with Yamaha Motor Company Limited for the establishment of a manufacturing plant in Liberia to produce motorized boats for artisanal fishermen as a way of industrializing the sector.
Yamaha Motor Company Limited is a Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles, marine products including boats and outboard motors, and other motorized products.
The conversation with Yamaha, when concluded, will witness the availability of motorized boats that will enable local fishermen in Liberia to migrate from canoes fishing to modern fishing.
Madam Glassco disclosed that the goal of the negotiation for Yamaha to come to Liberia is to industrialize artisanal fishing and ultimately empower local fishermen to earn a better livelihood.
“We are prepared to improve the sector for the betterment of our local fishermen, we want to start exporting fish as we are getting imports from our neighboring countries, with the presence of Yamaha here in Liberia that will be able to provide motorized boats, our fishery sector will gradually improve,” she said.
The head of the NaFAAL is also in discussion and engagement with the Japanese Fishery agencies for the dredging of the Mesurado pier to enable the facility birth industrial fishing vessels in Monrovia.
As part of the discussion between the Liberian Fishery Authority and the Japanese Fishery Agency, a Japanese delegation has concluded a week-long partnership assessment aimed at consolidating bilateral relationship to enhance competition within Liberia’s fishery sector.
NaFAAL boss, Emma Matieh-Glassco told journalists that Liberia’s port facility currently lacks the capacity to allow the docking of bigger vessels on the Liberian waters or ports.
She said because there are not bigger fishery vessels docking on Liberia’s waters has made it difficult for government to generate needed revenues from the fishery sector.
She said owners of bigger vessels are using neighboring countries, adding,“As a result, industrial vessels have to use docking facilities at neighboring countries which have bigger capacities to contain the berthing of those vessels.”
She said the NaFAA has an ambitious plan of delivering a full package following the dredging of the port which will include a processing facility, as well as export and import terminals.
She recounted the excellent performance of the fishery sector of Liberia in the 1970s when the sector generated about US$40Million annually for the government of Liberia and expressed her determination to generate more revenue from the sector.
Madam Glassco said the engagement with the Japanese government also seeks to attract foreign investment in the sector that will create more jobs and trigger economic growth.
The head of the Japanese delegation, Ken Homma expressed gratitude to the Liberian government for seeking partnership with the Japanese government to develop fisheries in Liberia.
He said the delegation’s visit to Liberia has shown them challenges associated with the sector, pinpointing the expansion of the pier as a major priority.
Ken Homma, who is also Technical Advisor at the Japanese Fisheries Agency, indicated his government’s willingness to support NaFAA in the expansion drive of its port facilities but proposed that Japan sent a second visiting delegation to Liberia for the conduct of a feasibility study on fishery facilities in Liberia.
“We are going to suggest to the government of Japan to send another delegation that will carry on assessment on all of the fishery facilities in Liberia,” he said.