FCWC, NaFAA Begin 3- Day Interagency Workshop

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The Fisheries Committee for the West and Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) and the Government of Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority have begun a three- day Interagency Workshop with  Deputy Director General for Technical Services at the Liberian Fisheries Authority providing reasons why Liberia has not joined other member countries to implement a joint seasonal closure management strategy or closed season. The seasonal closure management strategy or close season is intended to reduce catching power and fishing mortality by limiting the amount of fishing to a desired level, which would increase stock size. Member countries of the West and Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) include Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo. Speaking Wednesday, 1st May 2024 at the start of the three-day FCWC-sponsored ‘Liberia National Working Group Workshop under the project Fisheries Intelligence and MCS Support in West Africa, at NaFAA Mesurado Pier Technical office near Coast Guard Base on Bushrod Island, the Deputy Director General for Technical Services mentioned that several issues needed to be addressed before Liberia can implement the seasonal closure management strategy or close season. Moreover, Mr. William Y. Boeh said the Government of Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, (NaFAA) has recently conducted stock assessments in its waters and is now awaiting all of the results before deciding to implement the close season across the nine coastal counties. Mr.  Boeh at the same time announced that the Fisheries Authority will have to hold discussions with stakeholders across the sector, conduct studies to derive alternatives for the local fishermen livelihood while  they stopped fishing for a specific period, and also create awareness of what it means in terms of benefits to implement a close season. The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority Deputy Director General for Technical Services stated that when all of these technical measures are properly put in place, then Liberia can now consider the implementation of the close season or the seasonal closure management strategy on its waters. Meanwhile, the Coordinator of TMT Madam Vivian Koutob said, in 2023 the fisheries organization helped member countries of FCWC implement the closed season however, noting “this was a management control measure used by Ghanian authorities”. Madam Koutob recounted that in 2022 FCWC conducted a study at which time, it encouraged all member states to have a regional level management measure including closed season but with all the engagements, it was , Cote D’Ivoire  and Togo that accepted  to join Ghana in the implementation of the close season. The TMT Coordinator urged that a closed season involving all six regional countries including Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo will drastically reduce illegal fishing activities. TMT is a non-profit organization that provides national fisheries authorities and international organizations with fisheries intelligence, analysis, and capacity building, targeting a reduction of illegal fishing and broader improvement in ocean governance. The Fisheries Committee for  Central West  Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) is sponsoring the three -days “Liberia National Working Group Inter-agency MCS Workshop ”, under the project Fisheries Intelligence and MCS Support in West Africa is bringing together Participants from government ministries and Agencies, along with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences from the  University of Liberia. 

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