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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

EU 'Criticizes' Executive Order #84

Weeks after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued Executive Order #84 for the regulation of Liberia's fishing industry, the European Union (EU) has expressed concern over the order. In a letter to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the EU expressed concern over the implications of Executive Order number 84. It further said it was surprised to learn about the order through the media considering the longstanding cooperation existing between Liberia and the Union which culminated in the signing of the EU- Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) in December 2015. Through its Ambassador to LiberiaMadam TiinaIntelmann, the EU said based onexperience in other countries, it believes that some of the measuresintroduced under Section 2 of the EO will not lead to sustainable investments. It noted that the Executive Order #84 will lead to accelerated depletion of current fish stocks, resulting in reduced economic opportunities in the sector and increased food insecurity. In the letter, EU made specific reference to Section 2.b of the Order that talks about reduction of Inshore Exclusive Zone (IEZ) as established by the Fisheries Regulations of 2010 from 6 nautical miles to 3 nautical miles to ensure that industrial and semi-industrial fishing can restart and become viable, as well as section 2.c which also talks about cumulative stock of fishery resources to be harvested shall not exceed 100,000 metric tons per annum. According to the EU, the measures do not appear to be based on the precautionary approach of the FAO's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing. The EU noted that experience in other countries has demonstrated that this type of measure risks jeopardizing fish stocks, artisanal fisher men's livelihoods, amplified vulnerability of livelihoods and food security in the country, as well as little economic value for Liberia. The EU pointed out that the best way to ensure the viability of industrial and semi-industrial fishing is to strictly adhere to scientifically sound sustainability principles, which include the enforcement of a sufficient IEZ and a system of quotas based on a fish stock assessment.

Source: Allafrica