Monrovia Liberia – Fishermen across Liberia now have a breathing space and a chance to work hard and raise money to meet up with their license fees instituted by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority.
Since the introduction of the registration system by NaFAA, fishermen have been complaining that the fees being charged by NaFAA are too exorbitant thus prompting some to park their canoes and motorized boats.
The decision by NaFAA followed a directive from President George Manneh Weah mandating the Fisheries Authority to give a one-month grace period to all fishermen fishing in the territorial waters of Liberia as of Wednesday, March 4, 2020, to enable them raise money to pay their license fees.
The issuance of this mandate now means the enforcement of fishing license payment will begin on April 4, 2020.
It can be recalled that on February 21, 2020, a group of concerned fishermen communicated to the office of President Weah, seeking intervention in addressing the increment in the Fisheries License Fees announced by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA).
The same group had earlier petitioned members of the Legislature to intervene.
A NaFAA statement said “The President, being very cognizant of the prevailing economic situation in the country, and as a leader, who shared the experiences of the fishermen, has decided to intervene in the situation”.
The president’s mandate followed series of consultations with stakeholders as well as the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority.
In addition to the one month grace period, NaFAA has adjusted its new fisheries fee requirements.
Operators of 15 horse power (HP) engine will be classified with the first category of motorized boats; hence will pay US$ 250 while motorized boats in the category of 16 to 40 horse power will pay US$475.00 for their license fees.