Fisheries Policies Still To Be Enforced
Despite the many controversies that have surrounded the Sierra Leone fishing industry, the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Jeneh Kandeh has expressed governmentâ€™s profound determination to enforce policies that would promote responsible fishing practices in the country through sustainable exploitation and management of fisheries and marine resources.
Speaking during a familiarization tour of Fishing Companies in the Western Area, Madam Kandeh urged the companies to fully comply with local and international standards governing the fishing industry to ensure rapid socio-economic growth in the country. She pointed out that compliance with standards governing the industry will not only enhance economic growth through revenue generation but also contribute to food self- sufficiency.
The Deputy Minister entreated the fishing companies to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities and help transform the country into an enviable place. She also urged them to observe basic safety measures, hygiene standards in order to add more value to their products.Â She also urged them to ensure that other conditions of service of their workers are improved.
Hon. Kandeh looked forward to a continued cordial relationship between fish mongers and fishing companies and pledged governmentâ€™s desire to ensure that enough fish products are made available to the public at affordable costs. She commended the managing director of Sierra Fishing Company for the â€œhugeâ€ investment he has made in the industry and thanked him for meeting most of the standards, especially those of the European Union. She also urged the management of Sonit Fishing Company at Cline Town to improve their sanitary conditions and encouraged Staff of Horse Fishing Company at Jui to use their modern and well-maintained ancillary facilities to maximize productivity.
Receiving the minister and her entourage at his Kissy Dock Yard Office, the Managing Director of Sierra Fishing Company, Bassim Mohamed congratulated the new Deputy Minister on her new appointment and wished her a fruitful tenure of office. He intimated that they have invested heavily in order to meet the E.U. ban and contribute to national development. He disclosed that they sell 60% of their total catch to the local consumers and reserve the remaining 40% for export. .He was also pleased to note that experts from the E.U. have approved his companyâ€™s landing facilities as one of the best in the country.Â Mr. Mohamed informed his visitors that their operations have been greatly hampered by the recent ban levied on twin-trawling method of fishing, adding that they had acquired license for twin trawling before the ban was instituted and hoped government would consider his concerns.
He said his company provides 20,000 cartoons of fish for the local markets per day, adding that additional vessels have been purchased to help increase their productivity.
The Sales Manager of Sonit Fishing Company at Cline Town, Muhin Badi said their operation is limited to importing fish products from Guinea for sale in Sierra Leone and disclosed plans to embark on large scale fishing in the countryâ€™s territorial waters in the future. He also assured the minister of their determination to help promote economic growth in the country.
The Financial Manager of Horse Fishing Company, Ahmed Abdel Mangul said even though they are operating in a small scale for now, plans are afoot to secure a good number vessels to enhance productivity. He hoped the fruitful bilateral trade agreement between Egypt and Sierra Leone will be strengthened for the benefit of the two nations.
Among the Deputy Minsterâ€™s entourage were, the Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Fisheries, Mrs. Rukiatu Kamara, Assistant Fisheries Director, Tommy Taylor and Press Officer, A Max Konneh. A conducted tour of the companyâ€™s facilities formed part of the programme.
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