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Press release from Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources

17 May 2021 at 18:31 | 1338 views

Setting the records straight about the Fish Habour

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has read social media reports about a fish mill to be located at the Black Johnson community. The unfounded reports even purport land grabbing from genuine land owners by government for the said facility.

The MFMR wishes the general public to know that the facility to be constructed is a Fish Harbour and not a Fish Mill as portrayed by the social media writers. The objective of the Fish Harbour is to centralise all fishing activities. The govemment of Sierra Leone has been yearning for a Fish Harbour since the early 1970s, but could not actualise it due to the huge amount of money that is required. With the new shift in government policy for the development of the fisheries sector, the Chinese govemment has given a grant of US$55m to build this platform.

The Fish Harbour will provide the facility for Tuna Vessels and other bigger fishing vessels to anchor. It will also increase fish stock in country whilst simultaneously increasing our capacity for export to the International markets. The facility will comprises a waste management component which will involve recycling of marine and other wastes into useful products. The strategic relevance of the Fish Harbour does not only include revenue generation and job creation, but it will
also build the capacity of Sierra Leoneans in vessel repairs and maintenance.
For technical reasons, Black Johnson was the most suitable place for the construction of the facility in terms of bathyrmetry, social safeguards (minimum resettlement cost) and environmental issues.

The Ministry of Finance had put aside a compensation package of Le 13.76 billion for the affected land owners, after the Ministry of Lands had secured the 252 acres space for the Fish Harbour.

Compensation to land owners however should be strictly by the production of authentic documents for ownership of the land within the space acquired.
This government is a people-oriented one and will not do anything inimical to the interest of the people. The Ministry of Fisheries has been proactive to meet the market demand for fish. Since 2018, government has increased local fish landing to 40% from the previous 30%. This is intended to ensure the regular supply of fish which is a main source of protein, to the local market. Several other measures have been instituted to sanitise the industry and improve the livelihoods of our people.

Photo: Emma Kowa-Jalloh, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources.

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