Concord Times (Freetown)

29 March 2010

Sierra Leone: Parliament Wants Cheating Fishing Companies Punished

Freetown — Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament has urged the government to take punitive action against companies that violate the fishing regulations by using the country's resources for their selfish interest. Contribution to the debate on the ratification of the Financing Agreement of the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program Phase 1 signed between Sierra Leone and the International Development Association, Hon. Sufian Kargbo said some fishing companies operating in the country are negligent of their role in the industry.

"There are no effective ways to monitor fishing activities in the country," the MP observed, thus calling on the government to severely punish defaulting fishing companies. According to Hon. Kargbo, some of the fishing outfits are only concerned with maximizing profit than seeking the interest of the poor people.

Sierra Leone is known over the years for its rich water minerals and resources but the black market trade of the country's fishes in the high seas had deprived government of badly needed resources. "Sierra Leone is known over the years and even now for its rich water minerals and resources. This black market trade of our fishes in the high seas should stop immediately.

Tombo is known as the breeding ground of our fishes," he maintained. The deputy House leader therefore encouraged the Fisheries Ministry to beware of activities going on at Tombo and other fishing areas across the country as lots of market women are complaining of a shortage of fish in the market.

"Many of our market women are grumbling everyday that there is not enough fish in the market to sell to the people," Hon. Kargbo noted. In another engagement, Members of Parliament have also ratified the 'Dollar Credit Line' agreement signed between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Export-Import Bank of India.

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