Robertsport – The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), through the European Union-funded Communities for Fisheries project, have inducted into office newly elected Collaborative Management Association (CMA) Executives in Region I, II and III, Grand Cape Mount County.
By Francis G. Boayue
The CMA is a community-based governance structure that enables fishing communities to work in partnership with the government through a democratic and participatory approach to sustainably manage fisheries resources. EJF is an international NGO in Liberia working to promote sustainable fisheries, address illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and community participation in fisheries management.
EJF and NaFAA on Wednesday, September 27, 28 and 29, 2023, inducted into offices CMA leaders of regions one, two, and three, Grand Cape Mount County, completing the establishment of CMAs in four, i.e., Margibi, Grand Bassa, Grand Kru and Grand Cape Mount of Liberia’s nine Coastal counties in collaboration with NaFAA.
Mr. Cephas Asare, West Africa Regional Manager of EJF, presenting a background of the Communities for Fisheries in four of Liberia’s coastal counties, calls for the collective involvement of all Grand Cape Mount Citizens, including officials, private citizens, fishermen, and fishmongers for the success of the CMAs established to govern fisheries activities.
Mr. Asare, speaking at the induction ceremony, said everyone needs to join forces to ensure that the operations of the CMAs are successful by rallying their support toward the established fisheries bodies for the sustainability of the Liberian fisheries sector.
At the same time, he pledged the EJF support under the European Union-funded Communities for Fisheries project to ensure that all the CMAs established in the four counties continue to be effective in discharging their duties.
“The best way to manage fisheries more sustainably in Liberia is to embrace the teamwork, capacity building, and inclusion of resource users in the decision-making,” Mr. Asare said.
On behalf of NaFAA, the Deputy Director General for Technical Services, Hon. William Y. Boeh, proxying for his boss, Madam Emma Metieh Glassco, as Keynote Speaker, praised EJF for its continuous cooperation with NaFAA to empower local fisheries and sustainable development for local fishermen across Liberia.
“I, on this note, would like to first recognize the enormous contribution of the European Union in supporting the fisheries sector at large and particularly the establishment of Collaborative Management Associations in other counties. A special thanks to the Environmental Justice Foundation for working tirelessly to ensure the Communities for Fisheries project objectives are achieved,” he said.
He further said the CMAs and its leadership will ensure the creation of awareness in all fishing communities for compliance by fishermen for the full implementation of the Co-management plans in accordance with the principles and objectives set out in National Fisheries Regulation and policies.
“For managing the fisheries, I am keen to work with you to modernize fishing practices to drive sustainability and economic returns, and I’m committed to increasing our level of support in developing and sharing fisheries management responsibilities with coastal communities. The government is particularly focused on protecting fisheries resources, combating IUU, enhancing the capacities of artisanal fishers, and rebuilding stocks that have been over-fished,” Boeh added.
Also speaking, Mr. Charles Simpson, outgoing president of the CMA, Grand Cape Mount County, in remarks, called on new leadership to stand firm and keep advocating for the welfare of the fishers.
Speaking on behalf of the newly inducted leadership, Mr. Nimene Doe, president of Region I, praised NaFAA for recognizing artisanal fishers. He holds the view that the involvement of local fishers will help in managing the fisheries sector.
Those inducted into office in Region I Collaboration Management Association were Mr. Nimene Doe (President), Madam Musu Cooke (Vice President), Mr. Philip Y. Cole (Secretary General), Hussein Pusah (Financial Secretary), Bornyomah Kiadii (Treasurer) and Patience Willie (Auditor).
Region II inductees were Morris Jarkpor Kiazolu (President), Anna M. Ben (Vice President), William Kanneh (General Secretary), Zuanah Johnson (Financial Secretary), Massa Jarmoh Fahnbulleh (Treasurer), and Musu Passaway (Auditor).
Region III: Abraham J. Rogers (President), Anna Tregbe (Vice President), Abuboakai K. Kiawen (General Secretary), Precious G. Davis (Financial Secretary), Cecelia T. Johnson (Treasurer), and Landa F. Rogers (Auditor).