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Transboundary Resources and Ecosystem Survey to be conducted in 2019 in the Western Gulf of Guinea

FAO and Liberian govt strengthen collaboration to improve fisheries and aquaculture sector

LIBERIA
Monday, August 19, 2019, 00:00 (GMT + 9)

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  for “Transboundary Resources and Ecosystem Survey” to be conducted in 2019 in the Western Gulf of Guinea was signed between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Liberia through the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA).

According to the MoU, the survey is to cover demersal and pelagic transboundary resources of the continental shelf and upper slope with a regional survey that allows for synoptic overview of distribution and abundance of resources that may be shared across the region.

Madam Mariatou Njie and Emma Glassco at the closing of the signing of the agreement

In addition to determining distribution and abundance of demersal and pelagic species and communities, and collecting biological samples as specified below, said the MoU provides that sampling will be carried out to determine oceanographic conditions (including physical, chemical and biological), sampling for micro plastics recording occurrence of marine debris and food safety.

Signing the MoU on behalf of her institution, the FAO Representative in Liberia, Madam Mariatou Njie, said the project will assist countries situated in the Western Gulf of Guinea to survey their fisheries resources and support fisheries institutions to sustainably manage fisheries guided by the principles of an ecosystem approaches.

She added that the survey will provide a platform for benefitting countries (including Liberia) to use the information and data collected to produce reports on the state of the fishery resources; support the development of human and organizational capacity of fisheries management and research institutions among the participating countries and regional organizations to sustainably manage their fisheries resources.  

For her part, Madam Emma Glassco, Director General of NaFAA, lauded FAO for the continued support towards improving the sector. Glassco: “Conducting this survey will help us know the status of the fish stock in order to open other fishery programs that have been abandoned over the years”, she noted.

According to Madam Glassco, the collaboration will enable the NaFAA to obtain up-to-date and accurate data that will inform their program interventions. “With this information, we will improve our revenue intake through the development of a national quota plan”, she added. She described the support as “timely” adding that the NaFAA currently lacks the financial capacity to conduct such research.  

Fisheries in Liberia contribute significantly to the national economy, which according to NaFAA, accounts for an estimated 40,000 people employed directly or indirectly in the sector. Furthermore, NaFAA believes that more than 50% of protein requirements in the Liberian diet comes from fish.

To continue enjoying these benefits,  fish stocks must be managed carefully to ensure sustainable use for current and future generations. Stock assessments provide important science information necessary for the conservation and management of fish stocks.


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