The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) yesterday started a two day intensive training of Local Council Officers in fishing canoe registration and licenses.
The training which was held at the conference room of the Ministry attracted Local Council Officers from the Western Urban, Western Rural, Port Loko, Kambia, Moyamba, Bonthe and Pujehun.
In his opening remarks, MFMR Permanent Secretary, Ahmed Abu Kemokai said that his Ministry in collaboration with the Institutional Support for Fisheries Management (ISFM) has succeeded in securing funds through the European Union for the training of key personnel of Coastal Councils in Coastal Districts.
He added that the core objective of the exercise is to adequately prepare them for the revenue generation task that will lead to the development of the sector and the whole country.
In his statement, Director of Fisheries, Dr Mohamed Sesay, stated that the Ministry places great emphasis on the sustainable development of small-scale fisheries considering its cardinal role in social cohesion, rural development, livelihoods enhancement and in minimizing rural urban migration. He reiterated that the sub sector operates along the 550 Km long coastline of Sierra Leone, stretching from Kiragba in the North down to Sulima in the South.
This sub sector, he said has tremendous potential for boosting economic development through exploitation of offshore fish resources, export diversition and promotion, maintaining adequate supplies in inland local markets.
Dr Sesay maintained that with the requisite capacity, the Local Councils would have acquired the skills to contribute meaningfully to future ‘co-management of the resources.
“The successful transfer of knowledge on artisanal fisheries would eliminate illegal fishing and hence promote response fisheries and good governance for fisheries management”, he said.
The Minister of MFMR, Joseph Koroma stated that the artisanal fishing sector provides employment and over 500, 000 as auxiliary workers in the sector.
He added: “we know the role artisanal sector plays in revenue generation and in youth employment” Joseph Koroma added.
Joseph Koroma maintained that, his Ministry in collaboration with UNIDO and some Russians are working to bring up to date facilities in the artisanal sector, especially in fish smoking.
The Minister underscored the tremendous contributions his Ministry is making to the coffers of the country’s development.
Legal and Governance Manager, Decentralization Secretariat Floyd Alex Davies said that his institution is responsible for devolving functions to the Local Councils. He added that since 2004 we have been engaging the Ministry to devolve their functions, adding that the training is a stepping stone in devolving functions to the Local Councils.
The Deputy Minister of MFMR Jenneh Kandeh declared the training open.
By Abibatu Kamara