MARINE MNISTER ADRESSES INDUSTRIAL FISHERIES ASSOCIATION

By Max A Konneh, Press Officer,MFMR

Madam Elizabeth Mans, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources

The newly appointed Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Elizabeth Mans has solicited the cooperation of fishing companies and other stakeholders to ensure full compliance with regulatory measures which are consistent with President Koroma’s vision for the sector as enshrined in the Agenda for Prosperity. Addressing members of the Sierra Leone Industrial Fishing Companies Association at the Conference Hall of her ministry, Madam Mans thanked them for their continued cooperation in the management of the country’s fisheries without which she said, it would have been difficult for the ministry to make the tremendous gains it has made, especially in the areas of revenue generation, establishment of Fisheries and Marine Training Institute for capacity building, support to Ebola and flood victims and procurement of the new Fisheries Patrol Boat, Sorie Ibrahim Koroma for effective monitoring, control and surveillance of the country’s territorial waters. Dilating on measures put in place by her ministry to ensure efficient and effective service delivery in the industry, Madam Mans reminded them that fisheries activities are governed by laws as prescribed in the Fisheries Act and Regulations, stressing that anyone found wanting, will be treated as the laws dictate. She also spoke of other mechanisms her ministry has put in place to ensure effective monitoring, control and surveillance system such as the installation Vessel Monitoring Systems and operational VHF and HF radio sets onboard Industrial vessels and advised them to use them for their intended purposes. The minister frowned at illegal fishing and emphasized government determination to curb the practice. She also addressed the importance of having Fisheries Observers on board the vessels, the need to have a crew member who can speak English, employ 45% of Sierra Leonean crew onboard the vessels and entreated industrial fishing Agents to endeavour to become key partners such as shareholders instead of mere agents in order to benefit more. Deputy Minister of fisheries, Charles Rogers thanked president Koroma for creating the opportunity for more women to serve in governance and commended members of SLIFA for their cooperation. President of SLIFA, Bassem Mohamed on behalf of his colleagues, congratulated the minister on his new appointment and pledged their continued cooperation.