Fisheries governance

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Region:    Africa & Western Indian Ocean

Strategic Support to the Liberia Bureau of National Fisheries Liberia

DG EuropeAid Cooperation - Project Dates:
April 2017 - March 2019

Description of Project:
Following a long period of civil conflict between 1989 and 2003, peace and stability returned to Liberia. The fisheries sector represents a critical sector for the country as a whole, with potential to: i) generate much needed foreign exchange for the country (from the sale of access rights to foreign fleets to fish in Liberian waters, and export of fisheries products), ii) provide employment and economic activity in upstream, catching and downstream processing/marketing sub-sectors, and iii) contribute to food security with fish production being a key source of protein and micronutrients for many Liberians. However, despite developments since 2003 the fisheries sector was still only partly realising its potential. The rationale for this assignment was thus to provide technical expertise to support the Bureau of National Fisheries and Aquaculture (of the Ministry of Agriculture) to strengthen the systems needed to effectively implement management and develop coastal and aquaculture fisheries in line with the fisheries and aquaculture policy & strategy.

Services Provided:

Poseidon provided a Fisheries Management Expert to work with stakeholders in Liberia over an 18-month period initially and extended up to March 2019, providing an input of 230 days. The specific objectives of the assignment were:

  • To advise senior staff at NaFAA to improve its functioning in its different roles as regulator, supervisor and coordinating agency

  • To provide assistance to the implementation of the EU-Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Agreement (SFPA), and more specifically its sectorial support; and

  • To support NaFAA in the design and implementation of donor-funded projects, and in particular the support to be provided under the EU-Liberia Agriculture Programme

Achievements of the assignment included:

  • Approval and publication of the numbers and types of industrial fishing vessel licences available in Liberia, with precautionary quotas, including acceptance of a cap on demersal trawling of 10 vessels

  • Publication of an official investment guide, outlining licence details, along with supporting promotional films and an official newsletter

  • Completion of a value chain analysis to understand potential for areas of government and private sector action

  • Greatly improved processes for operation of the Licensing Committee

  • Improved working practices within NaFAA

  • Creation of the first Donor Fisheries Liaison Committee, attended by the majority of involved donors, to reduce duplication and increase collaboration

  • Improved reporting from the Fisheries Monitoring Centre and detention of illegally operating fishing vessels

  • Acceptance and approval of new, workable definitions of various types of fishing vessels in draft legislation

  • Increased co-operation between NaFAA and Liberian coastguard

  • Improvements in NaFAA meeting its obligations under the SFPA and agreement between NaFAA and DG Mare to explore the addition of shrimp and crab fisheries to the SFPA

  • Agreement between NaFAA and the EU over future investment project proposals