For A Period Of 1 Month… Industrial Fishing Banned  

 

By Ayodele Deen-Cole

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) has reportedly banned fishing activities as one of its management measures to protect the nation’s fish stock from depletion.

This decision was taken recently during a meeting attended by various stakeholders including the Science, Technical and Economic Committee, the Sierra Leone Industrial fishing association and the Sierra Leone Artisanal Fishermen Consortium. The closed season is expected to commence from the 1st to the 30th of April, this year.

According to the Permanent Secretary at MFMR, Mr. G Cooper, during the said period, no industrial fishing company should undertake fishing activities.

The season, he noted, will see a ban on the export of fish from both industry and fish processing plants by land, air and sea. They also urged the Artisanal Fishermen Consortium to ensure that fish caught by artisanal fishermen are sold to local market players.

MFMR is also calling on industrial fishing companies to take stock of their cold rooms with different fish species, noting that the number of fish to be stocked by each company will be calculated based on the number of fishing vessels operated by the companies.

According to the Ministry, this is to ensure that there is no shortage of fish in the local market. The ministry also noted that in order to properly manage the situation, they will work closely with the other partners to intensify monitoring and surveillance of the country’s water. They also urged local market not to increase the price of fish.

One fish seller, Bernadette Issa who spoke to this press said that this is the first time for such situation to occur, she called on the Ministry to manage the situation properly so that the ordinary people will not suffer.