The Project Coordinator of the West African Regional Fisheries Programme (WARFP) in Liberia, Dr. Lawrence I. Braimah, has said that Liberia loses US$12 million annually to illegal fishing.According to Dr. Braimah, the WARFP project is intended to curtail illegal fishing in Liberian waters and to put in place an effective and efficient management system to strengthen the country’s fishing industry as well as empower Liberian fishermen.
The WARFP Project Coordinator made the disclosure at a validation workshop on Enterprise Development Plan for Fish Landing held in Monrovia.
The Enterprise Development Plan for Fish Landing Cluster Facility located in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, is funded by the World Bank through the Bureau of National Fisheries (BNF).
He disclosed that with the cooperation of international partners, Liberia has fined some vessels which were caught fishing in Liberian waters illegally about US$6.5 million, which, he said, had already been paid to the government.
He pointed out that WARFP has set up an effective monitoring system to track any illegal fishing vessel in Liberia as well as the fish landing cluster facility at Robertsport to encourage investors in the fishing industry to add value to fish processing in the country.
Dr. Braimah noted that that when managed properly, the fish landing cluster facility at Robertsport will contribute substantially to Liberia’s economic growth and development because fish from Liberian waters will be processed at the facility before being exported to any part of the World.