This press recently visited the coastal part of Sierra Leone and observed that there is not enough catch of fishes any more, the once portentous food from the sea has drastically reduced in our territorial waters due to illegal fishing by trawlers and use of small fishing nets.
The ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Manager for Bonthe District, Richard Kakpendie, was asked about the activities of some Koreans operating within the Bonthe Coast and riverine areas.
He disclosed that local artisanal fishermen who are mandated by government to fish along the mandated IEZ zones have been flooded by Korean trawlers recently, depriving the local fishermen of fishing along their communities.
He noted that the Korean trawlers were also in the habit of damaging local artisanal fishing nets that are on sea with impunity, and head for the EEZ zone, on the Atlantic Ocean by Bonthe South un -noticed, leaving the poor fishermen in abject poverty and desperation to feed their families.
Mr Kakpendie added that some of the fishing gears used by the trawlers were not good for fishing in the country’s territorial waters because some of their fishing gears had been banned by government.
He disclosed that the wrong fishing gears had also flooded the market through Korean nationals and some unscrupulous businessmen were now engaged in the smuggling of the wrong fishing gears into the country destroying a lot of species in the water.
Some of the local fishermen have already submitted a letter of complaint to the ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources over the illegal buying of one of Sierra Leone’s precious species within Bonthe Island.