Information Directorate, Youyi Building, Sierra Leone, and Thursday 28th June, 2018 -
A Two-Week Training Workshop for Scientific Observers on Fish Stock Assessment is underway at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Youyi Building in Freetown. Organised by the Ministry of Fisheries in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Biology under the Global Environmental Facility GEF/ Additional Financing AF/ West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme-Sierra Leone, WARFP, the purpose of the training programme was to provide important information necessary for the conservation and management of fisheries and marine resources through the use of various statistical and mathematical calculations to make quantitative predictions about reactions of fish populations to alternative management choices.
Declaring the workshop opened, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Emma Kowa Jalloh, stressed the need for correct and reliable data of which he said, her ministry was in dire need to enhance effective management of the country’s fisheries and marine resources. She expressed concern over the numerous challenges the country is facing as a result of Illegal, unreported and Unregulated fishing and entreated the trainees to show honesty and determination while performing their duties. Hon. Kowa Jalloh thanked the organizers of the training which she said “will make a huge difference”.
The Acting Director of Fisheries, Kadijatu Jalloh described the training as Key, saying, it will compliment other activities geared towards developing the sector. The training, she added was one of the measures implemented by her Ministry to meet international standards as according to her, other management reforms cannot be successfully undertaken without correct and reliable data. She hoped the trainees will work towards supporting government to attain its goals.
Chairman of the programme who is also the Senior Human Resource Officer in the Ministry, Dwight Dwarty, thanked IMBO for its continuous effort in building the capacity of staff of the Ministry and expressed confidence that at the end of the programme, the Ministry will be proud of well trained personnel.
The Director of the Institute Marine Biology and Oceanography, IMBO, Dr. Raymond Johnson, said the objective of the workshop is to imbibe skills that would enable Observers provide diverse types of information that would give fisheries Managers advice about the status of the fishery and the possible outcome of management actions and to communicate the importance of Fisheries Observers in the sustainable management of the fisheries sector.
Lead Organiser of the training, Prof. Percival Showers referred to the programme as the “start of a long training of qualified personnel in the fishing industry”. He said the quality of the Ministry’s data over the years has not been up to standard and emphasized the need for a correct and reliable data for proper management of fisheries and marine resources. He described Fisheries Observers as Ambassadors of the country and re-echoed the need for them to be well trained.
The WARFP National Coordinator, Dr. Salieu Sankoh said the trainees will compliment the work of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance and related units of the Ministry, especially at a time like this when it has no research vessels. He urged the trainees to give maximum cooperation and allegiance to the country and work to promote its interest. “Don’t under report or over report”, he warned the trainees while pledging their continued support to the programme. Meaningful contributions were made by some of the trainees who expressed thanks and appreciation for the initiative.
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