Monrovia-The 23rd annual meeting of the Fisheries Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF-FAO) has officially commenced in Liberia with Liberian Fisheries Director General stressing that the role of continent fisheries is cardinal to the livelihoods of coastal dwellers.
The four days technical fisheries meeting taking place at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County is been organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, (FAO) in collaboration with the Liberian government through the Fisheries Authority, (NaFAA).
Addressing fisheries technicians Tuesday July 11, 2023 at the international technical gathering the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority pointed that the functions of the Fisheries Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) is very critical to the loverhood of rural coastal dwellers.
“Please note that your functions are very crucial to the livelihood of our rural coastal dwellers”
Madam Emma Metieh Glassco said the government of Liberia is delighted that the FAO-CECAF has continued to demonstrate strong leadership and commitment in terms of sustainable fisheries resource management among its member nations through its functions and operations.
Moreover, the Liberian Fisheries Director General noted that the body has continued to promote, encourage and coordinate research on living marine resources and develop programs to guide fisheries management and fisheries-related research.
Madam Glassco mentioned that it has continued to establish the scientific basis for regulatory measures leading to the conservation and management of marine fishery resources and to deliberate measures through CECAF’s subsidiary bodies and additionally, it has continued to provide advice for the adoption of regulatory measures by member governments, sub-regional or regional organizations, as appropriate, which are embedded in its core function. She stated that these activities and operations embody CECAF’s fundamental mandate of promoting the sustainable utilization of living marine resources through a science-based approach to fisheries management frameworks and fishing operations across CECAF’s region.
Liberia’s Fisheries Director General pointed out that, as CECAF Member State, “we believe that these regular gatherings of experts and scientists to discuss scientific interventions in managing our shared stocks provides multiple opportunities to achieve progress from all relevant angles, which attests to CECAF’s comprehensive, inclusive and diversified approach to its operations”.
At the same time, Madam Glassco has expressed Liberia’s profound thanks and appreciation to the FAO Director General and the CECAF Secretariat for the singular honor of selecting Liberia as the host of the Twenty-Third Session of the CECAF Committee Meeting.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome you, on behalf of His Excellency the President of Liberia, Dr. George Manneh Weah, and the people of Liberia, to the 23RD Session of the CECAF Committee in Liberia”.
Speaker earlier, Ms. Bintia Stephen-Tchicaya, FAO Liberia Representative ad interim said since the establishment of CECAF in 1967, CECAF has played a leading role in giving the fisheries sector the prominence it deserves.
Ms. Tchicawa mentioned that through its Scientific Sub-Committee and its Working Groups, the Committee has contributed to improving the skills of national experts who must tackle and/or resolve the many problems associated with the fisheries sector in Africa.
The FAO Liberia Representative said the contributions that CECAF scientists and experts provide is unique as a regional and neutral knowledge platform for its member nations to strengthen collaborations and share insights in the sector”.
She added that “as we all know, fisheries and its management transcend national boundaries and therefore the need to harness collective intelligence and advance our understanding of fisheries is crucial for the sustainable and equitable management of these resources”.
Madam Tchicawa said “Today, there’s no need to underline the global challenge of strengthening fisheries resource management. The global situation of biologically unsustainable fish stocks continues to grow. This downward trend in the resource situation poses a serious threat to the sustainable contribution of this natural resource to the economic and social well-being of millions of people who benefit directly or indirectly from the exploitation of fishery resources.”
She however noted that over the last decades, a number of events have had a profound impact on the fishing world, whose physiognomy has changed radically.
The FAO Representative ad interim named some of the many challenges that exist in CECAF’s area of competence as, ensuring that fisheries continue to contribute to food security and livelihoods for all, improving the management of shared and migratory stocks on the high seas, as well as in coastal sovereign waters, increase the resilience of coastal communities and ending illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. She said all of these challenges are summarized as good fisheries management’