Monrovia – The National Fisheries & Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has levied a fine on an industrial Chinese fishing vessel named Bonheur Vessel 1462 for allegedly engaging in illegal fishing activities on Liberian waters.
Illegal fishing activities have over the years caused the government a huge revenue loss in the fishery sector.
According to a NaFAA press release, the Chinese fishing vessel was arrested by the Armed Forces of Liberia, through the Liberia National Coast Guard in collaboration with NaFAA. This brings to two Chinese vessels being arrested and fined for illegal fishing activities on Liberian waters.
It can be recalled, earlier this year NaFAA arrested and fined another Chinese fishing vessel US$50,000 for illegally offloading fish products without the knowledge of the Liberian Fisheries Authorities.
In another development, NaFAA authorities have temporarily lifted its ban on the importation of fish through non-licensed fishing vessels in order to support food security in Liberia.
However, any non-licensed fishing vessel engaged in the importation of fish must have an Automated Identification System (AIS) or a Monitoring Transitioned Unit (MTU) installed on it for effective monitoring and control by the Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC) whilst in route to Liberia.
Meanwhile, as part of the economic incentives of the CDC pro-poor government to encourage more investment in the fisheries sector, the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), working closely with NaFAA, has reduced the fees of certificate for non-flagged vessels operating in Liberian waters.
The fees have been reduced from US$49,000 to a flat rate of US$10,000 for Industrial Tuna and Small Pelagic Fishing vessels only.