To provide affordable animal protein (quality fish and fishery products) for the population and contribute significantly to the GDP.

The ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has its mission to plan, develop, rationally mange and conserve all living aquatic resources of the country for the benefit of the country.

The Fisheries Sector Policy is to promote responsible and sustainable fishing practices through good governance while contributing to poverty reduction and wealth creation in Sierra Leone.

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By Max A. Konneh, Press Officer, MFMR

Boat

The new Patrol Boat

Like many other African countries, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing has been a major challenge facing Sierra Leone's fisheries sector, thereby depriving the country of much needed revenue for development activities.

In an effort to curb this nefarious practice in a more determined and  robust manner, the Government of Sierra Leone has procured the first highly sophisticated Fisheries Patrol Boat  in West Africa, constructed by Damen, one of the World's most renowned ship builders in Holland.

Witnessing the arrival of the vessel at the Queen Elizabeth Quay at Cline Town over the week end, the  Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Capt. Momodu Allieu Pat-Sowe said the procurement of the vessel named, P.V. Sorie Ibrahim Koroma is a demonstration of government's determination to combat illegal fishing and promote the conservation and management of  the country's Marine resources.

Hon

L-R, Capt. Pat-Sowe, Hon. Abi Kaloko and Hon. Patrick Foya, witnessing the arrival of the boat

Capt. Pat-Sowe described Monitoring, Control and Surveillance, (MCS) activity as one of his ministry's flagship programmes, adding that the new vessel will also conduct scientific research on marine resources and assured of government's desire to provide more of such vessels. He expressed confidence that the new boat will minimize the rate of illegal fishing, piracy, human trafficking and other related crimes in the country' territorial waters and stressed the need to train more Sierra Leoneans in Fisheries and Marine related programmes. Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Fisheries, Hon. Patrick Foya described the initiative as 'fantastic' and applauded government for the support. He pledged his committee's continued support in ensuring that the ministry overcome its challenges and contribute to national development. A member of the committee, Hon. Abi Kaloko also expressed pleasure over the arrival of the boat and hoped it will help address illegal fishing.  Director of Fisheries, Mohamed Bushura Cole assured that his ministry will put proactive  measures in place that would ensure the country's marine resources are well monitored, control and surveillanced by  trained and qualified personal. Head of the Fisheries Protection Unit, Victor Kargbo said there is no safe haven for poachers as the newly acquired, well- equipped 25 metres vessel is capable of covering over 200 nautical miles at a very short period. He lamented that illegal fishing continues to threaten people's livelihoods, noting that a survey conducted by the European Union shows that Sierra Leone is losing 32 million US Dollars annually to illegal fishing. The newly acquired Vessel is currently located at the Quay, awaiting commissioning by HE the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.