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Serious Efforts to Curb Illegal Fishing Underway

07,May 2018
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By Mohamed Lamin Banya

The West Africa Association for Development of Artisanal Fisheries (WADAF) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Artisanal Fishermen Union (SLAFU) has concluded a three days workshop for fishermen, fish wholesalers and fish processors on advocacy and sanitization across the country at the Maritime office at Murray Town, Freetown.

According to the WADAF Project Coordinator Madam Aminata M’bengue, their leaders will carry advocacy on fishing, fish processing and trading.

She added that the workshop is very important because they have been working very hard in the past days to indentify three advocacy matters relating to fishing, fish processing and trade, so as to achieve their objective at the end of the workshop.

“We indentify things for the fishermen, fish processors and fish traders,” she said; adding that they indentified illegal fishing as one of the major obstacles to eradicating illegal fishing in the country.

Speaking on behalf of the fishermen, Thomas Turay said that about 85% of fishing done in Sierra Leone is illegal. He went on to state that artisanal fishermen are hereby declaring that the government and all stakeholders in the fisheries sector eradicate illegal fishing in Sierra Leone.

Most of fish landing in Sierra Leone according to Turay come from the MPAs’ adding that small fishing mesh sizes are still used in fishing communities.

“The use of monofilament is on the increase even when the Act is in place to halt this practice,” she said.

She added that: As a result of inadequate monitoring, control and surveillance, industrial fishing trawl vessels are making repeated incursions into the IEZ (Inshore Exclusion Zone) and poaching into our territorial waters).

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