Sierra Leone is set to resume fish exports to the European Union in December this year, ending a nine-year ban, officials from the ministry of fisheries said Thursday.
Fisheries Ministry figures show that the year before the ban fish exports to the EU averaged over 50 million dollars (35 million euros) a year.
“The ban was imposed (by the EU) because Sierra Leone did not have a credible laboratory to test the quality and grade of the fish and properly to certify the product before export. Now together with stakeholders like the Ministry of Health, we now have a credible laboratory to undertake these measures,” the National Coordinator of the EU Institutional Support for Fisheries Management, Mohamed Sheriff, told AFP.
He added that the EU has sent a research vessel “to conduct surveys on Sierra Leone waters for the next three years to establish the status of exploitation of our fish resources.”
Sierra Leone is trying to rebuild its economy ravaged by a bloody decade-long civil war which ended in 2001.