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23rd July 2018

Fisheries Minister Intimates Tony Blair on Revamping of the Struggling Ministry!

By a press release (15/06/18)

The new Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources has intimated her readiness to streamline the sector to make it more efficient.


Fisheries Minister Emma Kowa Jalloh expresses her unwavering determination to deliver its mandate on fostering economically and ecologically sustainable management and development goals of her struggling ministry. (Photo: Fisheries Minister Emma Jalloh explaining to Tony Blair about her marine plans).

Addressing staff of the ministry and fishing communities during a familiarisation tour of outstations and other facilities in Murray Town, Sulima, Gbondapi, Bo and Shenge, Mrs. Kowa Jalloh thanked them for their efforts in promoting the sector in spite of their numerous constraints.

The Minister visited the Joint Maritime Committee’s Headquarter in Murray Town, Sulima Fishing Community, the newly rehabilitated fisheries quarters and jetty in Gbondapi, Fish farming Experimental Station in Bo where she identified herself with the activities of her ministry and other stakeholders.

She expressed concerns over the derelict and poor conditions of the infrastructures and facilities of the ministry’s Outstations in the localities and assured them that with their support, she will do her utmost to address the situation.

Having listened to concerns raised by staff and representatives of the various fishing communities, Minister Jalloh said government thought it necessary to put the fisheries sector high on its New Direction Agenda because of the important role it plays in national development and promised to look into them with a view to revamping the sector.

She said, she believes in team work, commitment and hard work, hoping that stakeholders in the sector will renounce all forms of vices that would impede the development of the sector, including illegal fishing and give her the maximum cooperation required to push it forward.

Welcoming the minister earlier, representatives of the various entities, including heads of Units in the ministry, community leaders etc. congratulated the new minister on her appointment and wished her well in her undertakings.

Following brief meetings with the minister, the stakeholders intimated her about a number of achievements and challenges they are now facing, including the lack of adequate funds, poor state of infrastructure such as roads, equipment and fishing gears, working conditions, practice of illegal fishing, weak monitoring and Surveillance, inadequate electricity supply and lack alternative livelihood for fisher folks as incentives for change.

The Minister also visited the Sierra Fishing Company and the SABCO Fishing Company in the Eastern part of the city where she was also briefed about their operations. In other engagements, the minister met with the Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair who was on an official visit to Sierra Leone.

Minister Kowa Jalloh who took the former Prime Minister on a conducted tour of facilities at the Tombo Fish Landing Site, following the latter’s recent courtesy call on President Julius Maada Bio at State House where they discussed wide range of issues relating to the development of the fisheries and marine sector with him, including, the need to strengthen the ministry’s Surveillance Monitoring and Control System, provide a State of the Art Fish Harbour that would address the sanitation, hygiene and value addition constraints of the ministry and appealed for help.

Among members of the minister’s entourage were the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Mariatu Koroma, Director of Fisheries, Madam, Khadijatu Jalloh, Principal Accountant Festus Kuyembeh and other senior members of the ministry’s management staff.

Speaking recently at a ceremony marking World Ocean Day, the minister called for more actions to protect the ocean which she described as the lungs of our planet that provides most of the oxygen that human beings breathe. While emphasizing on the need to sustainably manage the ocean’s resources, the minister said the occasion is held to create public awareness on the impacts of human actions on the ocean.

Revealing plans to address the situation, the minister said that a short term, middle term and long term plans have been put in place for the sustainable management and development of the sector. In order to reduce pressure on marine fisheries, she expressed the need to improve on the Aquaculture sector and disclosed to have a closed season Programme to ensure sustainable management of the resources after a compilation of a Scientific Observer Data.

On the issue of illegal fishing, the minister disclosed that the ministry has revoked the licenses of four fishing vessels for presenting fraudulent documents for licensing purposes and using flags that were in dispute. Whilst planning to take further actions against the defaulters, she said amidst thunderous applause that the ministry has also put a moratorium on the licensing of new vessels for now.


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