The Hon. Minister and Director of Fisheries Visit E.U Headquarter in Brussels to Discuss issues relating to the Rescinding of the EU. YELLOW CARD banned slammed on Sierra Leone
The Minister and Director of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Emma Kowa Jalloh and Madam Kahdijatu Jalloh have intimated officials of the European Union in Brussels about steps taken by the ministry to combat “Illegal ,Unreported and Unregulated” fishing in the country.
This Follows EU’s Decision Published in 2016 To Warn Kiribati, Sierra Leone And Trinidad & Tobago With Yellow Cards As They Risk Being Uncooperative In The Fight Against Illegal Fishing.
Making an impressive presentation during a meeting with two Senior officials of the European Union, the Director-General of Health and Food Safety, SANTE and the Director-General, Marine time Affairs and Fisheries, MARE at the European Union Headquarters in Brussels, the Hon. Minister of Fisheries, assured the EU officials of government unwavering commitment to the fight against IUU. The presentation ceremony which was also witnessed by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Belgium, Ambassador, Tamba Musa and his deputy, Harold B. Saffa was aimed at showcasing positive measures the Sierra Leone government has adopted to significantly improve its national fisheries governance and encourage the European Commission to lift the “Yellow Card” and associated trade measures off the country.
Sierra Leones Fisheries products have been stopped from entering the E.U markets as a result of failure to meet EU standards. In a publication published by EU in Brussels, titled: Fighting illegal fishing; Warnings for Sierra Leone, dated 21 April 2016, it was highlighted that “In Sierra Leone’s legal texts governing fisheries are outdated and sanctions fail to deter illegal operators operating internationally under the flag of Sierra Leone without the fisheries authorities’ knowledge. In addition, the publication alleged that the number of licensed vessels exceeds the available resources and authorities fail to monitor or control their waters”.
As a result of the above which led to the awarding of the EU YELLOW CARD on Sierra Leone., thereby preventing its fisheries products from entering into the EU markets and the prohibition of EU fishing fleet from operating in the territorial waters of Sierra Leone.
Since the inception of Sierra Leone’s ‘New Direction” government, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources under the dynamic leadership of Hon. Emma Kowa Jalloh has intensified the Ministry’s efforts in the fight to rescind the EU YELLOW CARD ban. In 2018 the Hon. Minister resuscitated the fight against the EU ban for which the MFMR hosted a team of EU expert from Brussels to discuss and assess the then status of Sierra Leone Fisheries sector.
During the visit in 2018 the EU team highlighted key obligatory requirements to be address in other to qualify Sierra Leone to once again reach the EU markets.
In a proactive move to address the listed requirements, the ministry has succeeded in addressing the following ; deletion of Fishing / Cargo vessels flying Sierra Leone Flag in the high seas, Upgraded and Intensified Monitoring, Control and Surveillance; maintained the number of Industrial Fishing Vessels currently operating in the country; adopted the FAO Ports States Measures; registration of local canoes; revised policies, regulations, fines and penalties, strengthen regional cooperation; implemented sustainable management measures (Closed Season), established Marine Protected Areas and improved conditions of Fish Landing Facilities by providing Water and Sanitation Facilities and Improved Smoke Ovens in major fishing coastal communities.