Robertsport – The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), in partnership with the National Fisheries & Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), and with support from the European Union-funded Communities for Fisheries project, has conducted elections for new leaders for fishermen, fishmongers, and processors in Grand Cape Mount County.
By Francis G. Boayue
Over the weekend, EJF and NaFAA conducted elections for new leaders for three Collaborative Management Associations (CMAs) in Grand Cape Mount County. This team of leaders will oversee the affairs of the three CMAs, covering 22 fishing communities, including Robertsport, Boime, Sowie, Kru Town, Fanti Town, Tailor, Sambehum, Torsor, Saywelor, and other surrounding communities in Grand Cape Mount County. Their induction is scheduled for September 27-29, 2023.
Mr. Augustine Fayiah, Program Officer of EJF, in a conversation with a team of journalists over the weekend in Robertsport, explained that CMAs are a partnership arrangement in which the community of local resource users (fishers), the government, other stakeholders (boat owners, fish traders, boat builders, businesspeople, etc.), and external agents share the responsibility and authority for the sustainable management of fisheries in Liberia.
Mr. Fayiah, providing an overview of the elections, stated, “Today, fishermen, fishmongers, and processors have voted for a new set of leaders for three Collaborative Management Associations (CMAs) in Grand Cape Mount County. Over 2,500 registered voters have elected their new leaders from 38 candidates (25 males and 13 females) vying for six positions, including President, Vice President, General Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, and Auditor.”
According to Mr. Fayiah, the newly elected leaders will guide the activities of the Collaborative Management Associations for Regions I, II, and III over the next three years. They will advocate for the well-being of fisheries, ensure adherence to sustainable fisheries practices, and help protect the ocean.
The elected leaders are as follows: Region I: Nimene Doe (President), Musu S. Cooke (Vice President), Momo C. Kiazolu (General Secretary), Hussein Pusah (Financial Secretary), Boyounah K. Kadii (Treasurer), and Patience M. Willie (Auditor).
Region II: 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).
With funding support from the European Union (EU), EJF runs the Communities for Fisheries project in four of Liberia’s coastal counties, including Grand Cape Mount, Margibi, Grand Bassa, and Grand Kru. The project, primarily focused on supporting sustainable fisheries, also aims to establish CMAs—an approach that allows local fishers to have a say in the management of fisheries resources and Territorial Users rights. Since the start of the European Union-funded Communities for Fisheries project, EJF has established four Collaborative Management Associations in three coastal counties: Grand Bassa, Margibi, and Grand Kru. The establishment of these three new Collaborative Management Associations in Grand Cape Mount brings the total to seven CMAs in the four project counties.