EJF Launches Communities for Fisheries Project in Liberia

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MONROVIA – The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), in partnership with the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), is launching a four-year project: Communities for Fisheries. Under the umbrella of the EU-Liberia Agriculture Programme, the project seeks to empower communities to co-manage fisheries and reduce illegal fishing, building lasting sustainability and social equity into Liberia’s fishing sector. This will help to safeguard food security and coastal livelihoods across the country. The launch event will take place on 11th December at the Monrovia City Hall on 1st Street, Sinkor – Monrovia.

The prevalence of illegal and overfishing activities in the Liberian waters continues to threaten the food security of 80% of the country’s population that depend on fish for essential dietary protein. In addition, over 33,000 people, including 11,000 fishers, rely on the fishing industry as their source of income to support their families. The health of the fish stocks means there is still a good potential for Liberia to increase its income from fisheries in a sustainable manner while safeguarding livelihoods for artisanal fisherman and the major source of protein for coastal populations.  

In light of this, the EU has allocated funds to the EJF in partnership with NaAFA to enhance livelihoods for small-scale fishers and to improve local sector governance and operationalise sustainable management of fisheries by communities. H.E. Laurent Delahousse, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Liberia reiterated that « ensuring healthy and sustainable fish stocks will allow Liberia to increase its income from fisheries while safeguarding livelihoods for artisanal fishers and securing the major source of protein for coastal populations. »

The project will build on the significant progress already made by NaFAA in improving sustainable management of Liberia’s fisheries and implemented across four coastal counties: Margibi (Marshall) Grand Cape Mount (Robertsport), Grand Bassa (Buchanan) and Grand Kru (Grand Ces), engaging Kru and Fanti fishermen as well as fishmongers/fish processors.   

“Trawlers fishing illegally in Liberia’s waters are able to catch vast amounts of seafood, destroying marine ecosystems and impoverishing local communities. However, fishing communities can act as custodians of the resources they rely on, safeguarding the sustainability of Liberia’s waters. EJF is delighted to be launching Communities for Fisheries, which is enabled by the generous funding support of the European Union. We’re deeply appreciative of the opportunity to work with the Liberian Government, communities and local networks and especially alongside the EU Delegation.” says Steve Trent, Executive Director of the Environmental Justice Foundation.

The overall objective of the project is to better support the livelihoods of coastal communities and safeguarding the food security of 11,000 direct beneficiaries and 56,000 indirect beneficiaries through improved management and governance of the marine ecosystems and fish stocks in Liberia.

The launch event will bring together prominent figures including the Head of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, the Director General of NaFAA, Madam Emma Metieh Glassco and other key stakeholders and partners across the fisheries sector in Liberia.

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