Chairman-elect, Mr. P. Nyantee Sleh , of Point Four Beach, celebrates with colleagues.
The management of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has elected officials of the Core Management Association (CMA).
The exercise followed an intense campaign that brought ten fishing communities in Montserrado and Bomi counties together.
The election was held in the Ballroom of the Monrovia City Hall, with fishing folks from Point Four, Tomah Town, Banjor, Kpekor, ELWA, Bernard Beach, West Point and Degbe Beach. The aim is to provide opportunity to all the fishermen within the two counties, to elect their own leadership to spearhead the operations of the CMA.
Following the casting and counting of ballots by the 90 delegates, the CMA elections comprising representatives from the office of Montserrado County Superintendent, the office of the Collaborative Development Authority (CDA), and the Ministry of Labor, the Chairman of the election commission, Eric Vage, who is also the Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs, announced P. Nyantee Sleh of Point Four Beach as winner of the chairmanship, defeating Jangar Kanneh of Tomah Town and Thomas J. Palay, Sr., of Point Four Beach, with 40 votes against 32-14 votes respectively.
Sleh is the former president of the Liberia Artisanal Fishermen Association (LAFA), the mother body of all Artisanal Fishermen in the country.
Mr. Sleh won along with James J. Logan of Banjor Beach as secretary general, Neji Sonnie of Kpekor Beach as treasurer, D. Nimely Fannieh of West Point Beach as co-chairman, Abraham B. Warkies of ELWA Beach as financial secretary, and Annie Doe as Chaplain for Montserrado and Bomi Counties CMA's leadership.
This is the first of its kind in the two counties as the first CMA leadership was elected few years ago for fishermen in Grand Cape Mount County to elect their own leaders. This is the second CMA leadership within the Liberian fishing sector that has conducted such an exercise.
The election will give the officials legal recognition to negotiate for sustainable management and good governance of the fisheries industry under the CMA jurisdiction.
"The reason is to ensure a sustainable source of livelihood for the coastal communities, provision of voice and a platform for fishing communities to participate in decision making in the administration and governance, establishment of a framework for coordination, planning and implementation of interventions for socioeconomic advancement of the fishing communities, NaFAA said in a statement shortly after the election.
NaFAA National Director-General commended the delegations from the fishing communities for the peaceful conduct of the elections and at the same time pledged the entity's support to the new leadership.
Madam Emma Glassco said NaFAA's dream has been realized following the conduct of successful elections.