China To Compensate Fishermen

 

By Ayodele Deen Cole

To show his apology for poaching the territorial waters of Sierra Leone through illegal fishing activities, the owner of Hua’ang fishing company has expressed willingness to donate up to two thousand United States Dollars worth of fishing gears to the local fishermen across the country through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. This information was disclosed recently by the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone Wu Peng during a meeting to brief on laws and regulations governing fisheries to Chinese fishing companies in the country.

The Chinese fishing vessel, Hua’ang 17 was caught in August this year, and a fined for fishing without fishing observers on-board. During that meeting, Amb. Wu Peng reiterated the position of Chinese Government on opposing illegal fishing activities which is very clear, and any violation of the rules and laws will face punishment. Amb. Peng called on Chinese fishing companies to respect related fishery laws and regulations in Sierra Leone while reinforcing management and self-regulation. Amb. Wu said  he had taken actions to freeze the total number of Chinese fishing vessels in Sierra Leone during his tenure because he deemed it fit that maintaining balance between the contribution of the fishery industry to economic development and the sustainable development of the fishery industry itself is very important.

The Deputy Director of Fisheries of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Josephus Mamie, said that the meeting demonstrated that the Chinese government is determined to regulate Chinese fishing companies in Sierra Leone. He commended Amb. Peng for his line of action in bringing Chinese fishing companies and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to talk on the matter of illegal fishing. Meanwhile, he assured the Embassy and the Fishing companies that the donation would be used for its intended purposes whilst highlighting the importance of translating relevant laws and regulations into Chinese so that the Chinese fishermen can have a better understanding of them.