Liberian authorities meet to build cooperation to stop illegal fishing

By Stop Illegal Fishing:20th May, 2019: West Africa Task Force

Representatives from seven Liberian agencies participated in the Liberian National Working Group (NWG) of the West Africa Task Force.

Acting Director Of NaFAA, Honourable Augustine Malaballa welcomed representatives from the Liberia National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), Liberia Coast Guard (LCG), Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), Liberia Port Authority, Liberia Ministry of Justice, and the Liberia National Police. He commented, “This National Working Group will strengthen not only the cooperation between or agencies but also the information sharing that is needed to stop illegal fishing.”

The agencies present committed to broaden the developing interagency cooperation to involve all relevant agencies through operationalizing existing MOUs. One of the key outcomes of the meeting is the strong commitment of LiMA to collaborate with NaFAA on joint inspections for reefers calling into port. In addition, the represented agencies proposed their focal points to be added to WATF regional information-sharing platform, to improve existing communication, collaboration and cooperation.

The West Africa Task Force brings together the six member countries of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) – Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo – to tackle illegal fishing and fisheries crime. The Task Force is facilitated by the FCWC Secretariat and supported by a Technical Team that includes Trygg Mat Tracking and Stop Illegal Fishing with funding from Norad. By actively cooperating, by sharing information and by facilitating national interagency working groups the West Africa Task Force is working together to stop illegal fishing.

The meeting took place at the NaFAA Technical Office in Monrovia on March 25th-26th 2019.

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One in four fish in Africa is caught illegally, this threatens the sustainability of fish stocks, damages the ecosystem and deprives governments of income and people of livelihoods.

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