NaFAA Identifies Prospects for Increased Revenue
-After Ties with Japanese Fisheries
The government of Liberia, through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), has concluded a week long partnership engagement with the Japanese Fisheries Agency (JFA), that aims at consolidating bilateral relationship and enabling competition within the sector.
The partnership seeks to prioritize, among other things, the dredging of the Mesurado pier with the goal of expanding the capacity of the facility to contain the berthing of industrial vessels. Addressing a news conference at the central offices of the NFAA on Bushrod island on Friday, the entity’s Director General revealed that the engagement with the Japanese government seeks to, among other things, prioritize the dredging of the port at the Mesurado Pier to enable the expansion of the facilities for the birthing of industrial vessels.
Madam Emma Metieh-Glassco intimated that currently, the port facility lacks the capacity to allow for the landing of bigger vessels, which has disallowed the government of Liberia from generating the needed revenues. As a result, industrial vessels have to use landing facilities at neighboring countries which have bigger capacities to contain the birthing of those vessels.
According to Madam Glassco, NaFAA has an ambitious plan of delivering a full package following the dredging of the port, a plan that will include a processing facility, as well as export and import terminals. She recounted the excellent performance of the sector in the 1970s when the facility generated about US$40Million annually for the government of Liberia, and expressed her determination to generate more revenue from the sector.
In the quest to further make the sector operational, the NaFAA boss told newsmen that the engagement with the Japanese government also seeks to attract foreign investment in the sector, something that will create more jobs and trigger economic growth.
She disclosed that they have begun conversation with the Yamaha Motor Company Limited for the establishment of a manufacturing plant in Liberia to produce motorized boats for artisanal fishermen, as a way of industrializing the sector. Yamaha Motor Company Limited is a Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles, marine products such as boats, outboard motors, and other motorized products.
“When concluded, local fishermen will have ready access to the motorized boats through a long term sustainable payment plan that will be developed by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority. The goal is to industrialize artisanal fishing and ultimately empower local fishermen to earn better livelihood,” she said.
For his part, the head of delegation of the Japanese Fisheries Agency, Ken Homma expressed gratitude to the Liberian government through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority for seeking partnership with his government to develop fisheries in Liberia. He said the weeklong visit to Liberia has informed them of the challenges associated with the sector, pinpointing the expansion of the pier as a major priority.
Ken Homma, who is also Technical advisor at the Japanese Fisheries Agency, indicated his government’s willingness to support NaFAA in the expansion drive of its port facilities, but proposed a second visit to Liberia for the conduct of a feasibility study on the facility.
Meanwhile the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority has announced that it will receive the Bob Johnson’s Fisheries delegation over the weekend. The delegation will meet with authorities of NaFAA to discuss potential investment in the sector, particularly the establishment of a fishing port.