December 16, 2023
The Deputy Director General for Administration at the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has officially dedicated the Collaborative Management Association (CMA) office building constructed as part of the European Union-funded Communities for Fisheries project implemented by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).
The event occurred in the port city of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County. The building in Small Fanti Town is powered by a 5-kilowatt off-grid solar system and hosts two furnished offices, a conference hall with chairs, and a washroom. The facility and the accompanying equipment are estimated to be worth over US$ 39,000.00.
The CMA is a community-based fisheries management body organized to serve as a medium between the government and the fishing communities across coastal communities. They are mandated to work with the fisheries management institution, NaFAA, to manage the fisheries sustainably.
The Environmental Justice Foundation, under the European Union-funded Communities for Fisheries project, has, over the last three years, established seven CMAs across four coastal counties, including Grand Bassa, Marshall in Margibi, Grand Cape and Grand Kru. They work with fishmongers to build their capacity through the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) as a medium of financial empowerment and increase their participation in fisheries management decision-making processes.
Cutting the ribbon to the entrance of the CMA EU funded facility Friday, December 15, 2023, in the Port City of Buchanan Grand Bassa while proxying for his boss, Madam Emma Metieh Glassco, the Deputy Director General for Administration (DDGA), commended the European Union for the financial support toward the Liberian Fisheries sector through the Communities for Fisheries project implemented by EJF.
Hon. Augustine M. Manoballah recounted that the Communities for Fisheries project is contributing meaningfully to developments in the Liberian Fisheries sector, establishing CMAs as a case study. At the same time, Hon. Manoballah challenged fishermen and fishmongers across Grand Bassa County to ensure the facility is properly maintained for continuous utilization.
“The people of Grand Bassa County, through their CMA, now have a facility they all need to cherish and maintain for the good of their fishing communities. This facility is for the CMA; therefore, everyone should ensure that it is looked after at all times. Money used to do the construction is from the European Union, and you all need to take care of it.”
Moreover, the NaFAA DDGA commended the Environmental Justice Foundation for establishing the seven CMAs in four coastal counties and pledged that NaFAA will always work with its local authorities for the good of fishermen.
The EJF West Africa Regional Manager, Cephas Asare, called for collectiveness in managing fisheries. Mr Asare mentioned that once members of the CMAs are with oneness, there is a huge possibility for them to achieve their goals, including helping to reduce illegal fishing activities across Liberian waters.
The EJF West Africa Regional Manager asked the Grand Bassa County CMA members to work with community stakeholders, especially the fishmongers, in all their activities.
He disclosed that women in Fisheries comprise 60% of the fishing workforce in Liberia. As such, their active involvement would ensure the success of the CMA’s activities and the effort toward sustainable, inclusive, and legal fisheries in Liberia.
Lewis E.B Konoe
Director Communications and Media Services
National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority