Information Directorate, Youyi Building, Sierra Leone, and Monday 9th July, 2018 -
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Emma Kowa Jalloh has called on Industrial Fishing Companies to work in line with President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction Agenda to help in transforming the industry into a viable entity.
Addressing representatives from the Sierra Leone Fishing Industries Association, Madam Kowa said that the industry has the potential of improving the revenue earning and transforming the lives of the ordinary sierra leoneans, but also acknowledged the challenges facing the sector, saying more engagements are going to be initiated to carve a path to sustainable development, just as in the theme of New Direction agenda.
The Permanent Secretary, Mariatu Koroma highlights the need for the requisite training to improve the standards and the operations of those facilities. She said the minister recently paid visit to the markets to get a clear picture of the fish trading and the challenges that needs to be addressed; and during the visits, the need for more cool rooms was seen as urgent.
Head of Fisheries Protection Unit, Victor Kargbo entreated the companies to always abide by the laws and described the illegal practice of some Semi industrial fishing companies in the country as a Security Threat to the nation. He disclosed plans to install Automatic Information Systems onboard Semi Industrial vessels for monitoring purposes.
Kadijatu Jalloh, the Acting Director of Fisheries, emphasizes the need to introduce reforms and revisit current policies, to ensure that companies work within the law. She expressed concern over the influx of fishing companies and Processing Plants, some of which, she said operate illegally and emphasized the need to regulate them.
Acting Deputy Director of fisheries, Josephus Mamie said the reforms will enable fishing companies work within prescribed rules and do the right thing. He informed the companies about the newly printed Fisheries Act which he said will soon be popularized.
President of the Sierra Leone Fishing Companies Associations, Bassem Mohamed applauded the minister and said they are fully aware of the constraints government is facing in terms of revenue generation. He pledged his association’s continued support. He called on the ministry to fully involve them at every stage of the review process to enable them make meaningful contributions.
Hon. Emma Kowa Jalloh expressed optimism, and affirmed that the New Direction Agenda will bring much transformation; Disclosing plans to formulate policies and regulations, and review criteria for the licensing of fishing vessels and fish processing plants with simple guidelines to be adhered to.
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