Monrovia, Liberia – The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has moved a giant step forward in improving their standard of operations.
This followed the arrival in country of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment from Iceland.
The Director-General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority Mrs. Emma Metieh Glassco said the arrival of the equipment means that all is now set for the setting up and subsequent operation of a fisheries competent laboratory also known as Post-Harvest and Quality Assurance.
Liberia currently boasts the second longest coastline in the sub-region next to Nigeria, but Madam Glassco said the country has not been able to export given the lack of a competent laboratory.
“Although Liberia is very rich in high value commercial quantities of both demersal and pelagic fish stocks, the country has lost its exporting powers to international fish markets due to the failure to set up a competent laboratory for testing and certification of fish products. As a result, there is a huge revenue leakage” the NaFAA boss added.
According to Madam Glassco, when completed, the competent Laboratory will be first of its kind in Liberia since the 1970s.
“Once the Lab is accredited, fishery products for export from Liberia, do not need to be routed through second member countries such as Ghana and Cote D’IVOIRE” Mrs. Glassco noted.
She pointed out that the move will present an opportunity for direct revenue earnings from exports thereby triggering at least three times increment or more in current revenue generation for Liberia.
Madam Glassco assured that the sophisticated equipment will be installed, managed and operated for couple of months by Icelandic consultants (after the COVID 19 pandemic subsides) recruited for the purpose of this project.
She noted that the Icelandic government has also provided six months training for laboratory technicians to help operate the laboratory after the testing and trials period.
Mrs. Glassco mentioned that NaFAA has also demonstrated its willingness to adopt ISO- International Organization for Standardization’s protocols which will be laid out in its updated 2020 regulations.
She said Liberia has also gone one step further by ratifying international treaties such as the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), an FAO legal instrument in an effort to get the required accreditation either from USA, EU, UK among others for export.