National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority has arrested several illegal Ivorian fishermen on eight migrant boats, while on Fisheries Patrol between the Liberian and Ivorian border in Maryland County.
Making the disclosure to Freedom News Tuesday, NAFAA Communications Director Luis Kono said the arrest was made by a joint enforcement and compliance team to include the Liberian Coast Guard.
He said the illegal fishermen have been fined US$7,500 for violating the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management and Development Law of 2019 and will be made to register each of the boats.
Currently, the boats are impounded and engines under seizure until the owners can comply with the penalties levied.
The Southeast of Liberia, particularly Maryland, Grand Kru, Sinoe, and Rivercess Counties are associated with a high level of illegal fishing activities involving Ivorian, Ghanaian and Togolese fishermen due to the common border with Ivory Coast and inadequate Monitoring Control and Surveillance.
It can be recalled on Tuesday, November 16, a joint Compliance and Enforcement team comprising Fisheries Inspectors of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority and the Liberia Coast Guard departed Monrovia to ensure full compliance with the Liberian fishery regulations in southeastern Liberia.
The compliance and enforcement team toured fishing communities to ensure fisher folks comply with regulations governing fisheries management in the country, including a collection of fishery license fees and the usage of proper or legal fishing gear.
The team also ensured cold storage operators are compliant as it relates to the payment of their 2021 cold storage fees and that their facilities meet hygienic conditions.
The exercise will continue in mid-January 2022, simultaneously with land patrol across the nine coastal counties to ensure full compliance with the Fisheries Regulations, eradicate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing as well as curb revenue leakage.