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Tuesday, 01 March 2016

Sierra Leone : Increase in illegal fishing

The World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone, Parminder Brar, yesterday in a press briefing raised serious concern over the present Condition of the Joint Monitoring Centre that was set up to monitor illegal fishing along the coast of Sierra Leone. It could be recalled that the World Bank started work in developing the West African Regional Fisheries Programme as a way of preventing the problem of rampant illegal fishing by Asiatic and European fishing vessels that took over from the previous industrial fisheries by factory vessels from Russia. Industrial fisheries in many African countries including Sierra Leone was out of control with many illegal trawlers, some of which are destructive pair fishing right up the coast and most of these vessels destroyed artisanal fishing gears, prevented native fishermen from fishing and reduced fish stock by catching juveniles. According to the World Bank Manager, Sierra Leone has some of the best fishing grounds in the world which leads the sector to contribute about 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), disclosing that before World Bank intervention in the fisheries sector in 2010, there were a lot of exploitation of the fishing stock by illegal trawlers. He maintained that President Ernest Bai Koroma took a very strong action in 2012 by banning such kind of fishing by trawlers and the Joint Monitoring Centre was established to monitor illegal fishing in the country through the use of raiders and satellites, a situation that led the fish catchers in the coastal communities to increase their catch by 30 percent which in turn increase the income of fishing communities to sixteen Million US dollars ($16m) in 2014.

Source: Awoko