Minister Demands Fisheries Produce Accurate and Reliable Data

Hon. Emma Kowa-Jalloh, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Calls For Accurate and Reliable Data for Effective Fisheries Management.

By Press Office, MFMR

A Two-Week Training Workshop for Scientific Observers on Fish Stock Assessment is underway at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Youyi Building in Freetown.

The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Fisheries in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Biology under the Global Environmental Facility GEF/.

Additional Financing came from AF/ West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme-Sierra Leone and WARFP.

The purpose of the training programme was to provide valuable information necessary for the conservation and management of fisheries and marine resources through the use of various statistical and mathematical calculations to make quantitative predictions about reactions of fish populations to alternative management choices.

Declaring the workshop opened, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Emma Kowa Jalloh stressed the need for correct and reliable data of which she said, her ministry was in dire need to enhance effective management of the country’s fisheries and marine resources.

She expressed concern over the numerous challenges the country is facing as a result of Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.  The Minister entreated the trainees to show honesty and determination while performing their duties.

Hon. Kowa Jalloh thanked the organizers of the training which she said: “will make a huge difference”.

The Acting Director of Fisheries, Kadijatu Jalloh, described the training as Key, saying, it will complement other activities geared towards developing the sector.

The training, she added, was one of the measures implemented by her ministry to meet international standards.  According to her, the Ministry cannot take other management reforms successfully without correct and reliable data.

Ms. Jalloh hopes the trainees will work towards supporting the government to attain its goals.

The Chairman of the programme, who is also the Senior Human Resource Officer in the ministry, Dwight Dwarty, thanked IMBO for its continuous effort in building the capacity of staff of the Ministry and expressed confidence that at the end of the programme, the ministry will be proud of well-trained personnel.

The Director of the Institute of Marine Biology and Oceanography, IMBO, Dr. Raymond Johnson, said the objective of the workshop is to imbibe skills that would enable Observers to provide diverse types of information about Fishery.  Such information would give fisheries managers advice about the status of the fishing and the possible outcome of management actions.

The information would also help to better communicate the importance of Fisheries Observers in the sustainable management of the fisheries sector.

Lead Organiser of the training, Prof. Percival Showers referred to the programme as the “start of long training of qualified personnel in the fishing industry.”

Professor Showers said the quality of the Ministry’s data over the years has not been up to standard and emphasized the need for a correct and reliable data for proper management of fisheries and marine resources.  He described Fisheries Observers as Ambassadors of the country and re-echoed the need for them to be well trained.

The WARFP National Coordinator, Dr. Salieu Sankoh, said the trainees would complement the work of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance and related units of the Ministry, especially at a time like this when it has no research vessels.

Dr. Sankoh urged the trainees to give maximum cooperation and allegiance to the country and work to promote its interest.

“Don’t under report or over-report,” he warned the trainees while pledging their continued support to the programme.

Some of the trainees made meaningful contributions and expressed gratitude and appreciation for the initiative.