Emma Kowa Jalloh, Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister
By: Finda Judith Ngaujah
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Emma Kowa Jalloh, has informed journalists that vessels which usually cause danger to the sea and its marine resources have been refused a license to operate in the country as a punishment for their actions.
Minister Kowa-Jalloh made this disclosure at the weekly government press briefing in the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications last week. She noted that reduction in the number of such vessels at sea has helped improve the stock and contribute to the growth of the country’s economy.
The minister lamented that Sierra Leone had lost huge revenue to illegal fishing, noting that in response to that fines for defaulters have been increased, which also has helped dwindle the number of illegal vessels that find their way into the country.
Mrs Kowa Jalloh further disclosed that the Ministry of Fisheries is collaborating with other stakeholders to conduct regular surveillance and sea patrols to curb illegal fishing.
According to her, the fishery sector plays an important role in the country’s economy by employing lots of young people, hence the need to protect it from exploitation.
Mrs Kowa-Jalloh also disclosed that her Ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese Company that is doing scientific observation on stuck assessment and provide the Ministry with accurate data.
As part of efforts to improve the fishes in the sea, the Ministry has also been implementing the closed sea season, the minister said.
“Measures have been put in place for proper hygienic preparation of fish for export to markets abroad in meeting the European Union’s standard procedure. This will help improve the country’s economy,” she said.