The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Joseph Koroma has expressed disappointment at Industrial Fishing Companies failure to send their Daily Catch Radio Reports to the Ministry as stipulated in the Fisheries Management and Development Act, 1994.
Addressing Fishing Agents at a meeting held at the conference room of the Ministry, the Minister informed them that with effect from the 1st of June, any Fishing Company which fails to observe the above rule will be fined the sum of $50,000(five thousand US dollars).
Hon. Koroma said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the problems of non-compliance with some of the rules governing the fishing industry and the need for direct communication between their vessels and the Ministry’s communications room.
‘The purpose of enforcing the Fisheries Rules is not to stifle your operations and make life difficult for you’ he said, while assuring them of the Ministry’s desire to facilitate their work.
In a show of magnanimity, the soft-spoken Minister, amidst thunderous cheers from the hitherto worried agents, cancelled the previous fine incurred by their fishing vessels for failing to send their daily catch reports to the Ministry and looked forward to their collaboration.
He recalled the recent arrest of two Nigerian fishing vessels for illegally fishing in our territorial waters and informed the gathering that owners of the vessels have complied with the dictates of the law by paying the sum of $550, 000 (five hundred and fifty thousand dollars) as fine, including other obligations.
‘In asmuch as we want to partner with you, we also want to apply the rules’, Mr. Koroma told the happy agents.
The Deputy Minster of Fisheries, Haja Jeneh Kandeh said they will leave no stone unturned in their effort to enforce the rules and rebrand the Ministry. She thanked the Minister for his consideration and hoped the agents will make use of the opportunity.
The Acting Director of Fisheries, Dr. Mohamed Sesay said the purpose of enforcing the Rules is to ensure good governance in the sector, stressing that failure to send daily catch would hamper the smooth running of the Ministry and the industry as a whole.
The President of the Industrial Fishing Company Association, Victor Kamara thanked the Minister for his magnanimity and entreated her colleagues to endeavour to observe rules governing the industry.
Vice President of the Association, Annie Joy Turay thanked the Minister for demonstrating the spirit of oneness and cohesion among stakeholders in the industry and pledged their continued cooperation.
A representative of Primus Holding, Dr. Kojo Carew pledged their determination to use the country’s natural resources to rebuild the nation. Their vision, he said has now become clear compared to the past and looked forward to the Ministry’s new leadership for cooperation.
He called for dialogue between Government and the private sector and the need to give the fishing industry ‘a new face’
By A. Max Konneh, Press Officer MFMR