A local fishing group in Maryland County, Liberia – the Atena Fishing Cooperative — has raised concerns over what they termed as a constant intrusion into their territorial waters by Ivorian-based fishermen.
The group spokesman, Morris Gordo disclosed that the frequent violation of intruders, believed to be Burkinabes, Ivorian and Ghanian nationals, is not just dangerous for the Liberian fishing folks but also affects the local economy.
“Those guys can do anything to us in the water and run away because they are always in good numbers. Moreover, the equipment they’re using we do not have,” Gordo said. “We use one single fishing line with four or five fishing hooks attached but the Accra line, which sometimes takes about 1,000 fishing hooks, it’s what they are using. This makes it difficult for us to pay taxes on time. This is a serious concern.”
However, Gordo noted that their struggles to survive in Liberia’s territorial waters as fishermen will be difficult if the coastguard fails to increase surveillance to ensure legal compliance and prevent aliens from illegally acquiring state resources.