Liberia: Three Dynamite Fishermen Behind Bars

Director Zizi Kpadeh and his Deputy Harry Mallay At The LNP Headquarters following the arrests of those practicing illegal fishing.

The issue of dynamite fishing has come to the fore as three fishermen are currently being held at the Monrovia central prison, popularly known as "south beach", following their involvement into illegal fisheries activities, specifically dynamite and chemical fishing.

According to the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) 2010 fisheries regulation, it is unlawful to use dynamites or any form of explosives and chemicals for fishing in both inland water bodies and the ocean. Currently, most fishermen along rivers and other inland water bodies are heavily involved in dynamite fishing, which has resulted into the damage of the fish and its habitat and also houses and other infrastructure in the environment.

Speaking Tuesday February 5, 2020 at the Temple of justice in Monrovia, the Director of NaFAA's Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Department, Zizi Kpadeh, disclosed that lots of violations are taking place along the rivers, lakes, lagoons and creeks in Liberia.

Director Kpadeh noted that NaFAA is not taking kindly the use of dynamites and other chemical substances inland water bodies. Therefore, he said, legal measures are being instituted to mitigate the occurrences of these harmful practices.

Mr. Kpadeh disclosed that three fishermen are currently being detained at the Monrovia central prison, awaiting court trial as a result of their involvement in dynamite fishing practice, which was banned by the government through the fisheries authority.

The three dynamite fishermen who are in detention are Jusu Sonii, Pecious P. Kings and Albert P. Hills. Director Kpedeh confirmed that NaFAA, with the help of the security groups will apprehend all fishermen involved in illegal fishing activities, including the use of dynamites and chemicals.

In January 2020, fisherman Wolobah Gibson, a resident of the Kpelle Town Community in Bernard Farm, was arrested for his involvement in alleged dynamite fishing.

In late 2019, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority turned over to the Liberia National Police detachment in Harbel market, Margibi County, three individuals who were allegedly involved in the illegal act of dynamite fishing.

Fisherman Ezekiel Joe and two fish mongers who were regularly involved into dynamite fishing

The Fisheries regulations of 2010 and the new fisheries management law of 2019 prohibit the use of explosives, firearms, chemicals and toxic substances and other illegal fishing methods, which have the potential to damage fish habitats and human lives due to the poison the fish accumulate as the result of the dynamite and chemicals.

Employees of the Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Division of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority caught a fisherman and two fish mongers who were regularly involved into dynamite fishing.

The three individuals are all Liberians including Ezekiel Joe, the fishermen who blasted the dynamite in the Zangar Town river between Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties, near the Roberts International Airport and the two dynamite fish buyers, Garmah Joe and Josephine Logan, who were detained and later released.

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