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US$28 M boost for fish ministry

US$28 M boost for fish ministry

In a bid to strengthen Africa’s ability in the areas of reform in fisheries governance, the World Bank has Friday 5th confirmed dishing out US$ 28 million to Sierra Leone to enhance the improvement of structures in the fisheries industry generally.

At a press briefing held at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, 7th floor Youyi Building, Freetown, the Minister, Dr. Soccoh Kabbia told a cross section of media officials that prior to the World Bank’s donation of US$ 28 million to the Ministry of Fisheries, Sierra Leone and member countries have had constant engagements to map out strategies that help eradicate illegal fishing, unreported and unrelated fishing repercussions in the sub region.

Sierra Leone is a member of the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program which caters for the effective management of fisheries resources in the sub region.

He said it is unavoidable that the fisheries industry, if well managed, could provide sustainable contributions to the growth and development of food security in society.

That Sierra Leone and member countries have had busy moments throughout 2010 – 2011 looking for obvious opportunities that will promote the fish industry in the region.

Minister Kabbia lauded efforts of the World Bank and NEPAD, who for obvious developmental reasons, have supported Sierra Leone in its strides to upgrade the fish industry.

In his statement, the World Bank head of delegation, John Virdin said Sierra Leone is a resource for fish business in the sub region.

“Sierra Leone has a fishing resource that can feed its citizens if well managed,” he said.

“The World Bank takes for serious this investment. Our focus is on the result”, he continued.

He noted however that the World Bank delegation has had a fruitful week and consensus with officials of the Fisheries Ministry pertaining to the establishment of structures that will eradicate the menace of illegal fishing in the country.

He furthered that the World Bank has set aside US$28 million to support Sierra Leone in the development of the fisheries industry.

He informed all that the money offered by the World Bank will be used for the control,  prevention and monitoring of  Sierra Leonean waters and the restriction of poachers, illegal fishing vessels, empowerment of local fishermen and the establishment of a standard surveillance structure.

He called on all to join the Ministry of Fisheries in its fight to upgrade and make the fishing industry in Sierra Leone a result-making entity.

A representative from the Fisheries Commission, Commissioner Ibrahim Tarawallie said his organization was established to purposely assist in the combating of the numerous fisheries problem in the sub region.

He said Sierra Leone is a member of the sub regional Fisheries Commission and has been working with the World Bank on issues bordering on fisheries management generally.

He however assured the press that it is sure that issues relating to illegal fishing, empowerment of local fishing entities, surveillance etc, will roll out in the months to come.

Dr. Sallieu Sankoh nevertheless spoke on successes and failures faced in the Fisheries industry.

He said with the World Bank, NEPAD and other funders, the needed mechanisms are on course and will in the near future benefit Sierra Leone in the area of fish.

“The tools to kick start the projects are already in place. The funds and supports are available. Our expectations are that communities to which support is given create the expected impact,”  Dr. Sallieu said.

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