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Sierra Leone News: Some MPs are malnourish-MP informs Fisheries Minister 

The Member of Parliament representing constituency 002 Kailahun, Honourable Sahr Juana, yesterday 16 April 2019 informed the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon Emma Kowa, that some MPs are malnourish, due to lack of access to good fish. He made this disclosure while debating two agreements on the implementation on the provisions of the Untied Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks. The second agreement is to promote compliance with international conservation and management measures by fishing vessels on the high seas (The Compliance agreement). These agreement were laid on the table of Parliament on Thursday 11 April 2016, according to the Minister of Fisheries, Hon Emma Kowa, maintaining it is incumbent on Sierra Leone as a coastal state and a party to the Convention on the Law of the Sea, to ratify International Instrument binding all Coastal State with the view of conserving and sustainably managing the fish stock in the ocean. She said the proposal for approval included the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement that seeks to encourage countries to take effective action consistent with international laws and to deter the reflagging of vessels by their nations as a means of avoiding compliance applicable conservation and management rules for fishing activities on the high sea. Minister Kowa said the treaties would look at a framework to strengthen international cooperation ensuring compliance with fishing vessels on the high seas with international measures for the conservation and management of the living resources in the high seas on the rationale, responsibility and sustainability use. According to her, in July 2018 her Ministry passed a motion in Cabinet that was endorsed for no fishing vessels flying Sierra Leonean flag or fishing cargos or related vessels should ply the high sea of international water. She maintained the reason is that Sierra Leone does not have the capacity to monitor beyond its international water, explaining they are aware as a flag state they have an obligation to honour, which can be done by passing that Cabinet conclusion. The Minister encouraged Parliament to ratify the agreements as they will enable the country to partner with country’s with similar species as Sierra Leone to be able to monitor and make sure illegal vessels operations is curb not only in the country but across the ocean. “Currently Sierra Leone has a ban and a yellow card for the exporting of fish into the international market (European Union),” she said, maintaining these are some of the agreement that need to pass to demonstrate the country’s readiness to start exporting its produce to the EU that currently see the country as a non-compliance state. Contributing to the debate, Hon Sahr Juana said the agreements before Parliament is in good spirit but the fact of the matter remains some of the MPs are malnourish simply because the fish distribution is not equitable. He appealed for the distribution of the fish that contribute to the nutrition of MPs be equal and cut across everybody in society, disclosing that the yellow card is a signal not only for EU but for the international market and that the Minister should be aware that MPs as well as the ordinary people eat fish. Hon Juana said Sierra Leoneans have suffered a lot despite producing so much fishes, the people end up eating nothing, disclosing that the life expectancy of Sierra Leonean have reduced drastically because ‘we lack the necessary nutrition’. He said the agreement before them if approve will transform the lives of the people as it will not only create employment for the people but also make available the necessary nutrition for healthy nation, disclosing he knows for sure with fish there is a life. Other MPs made their contributions in support of the ratification of the agreements for the development of the country in the absence of MPs representing the main opposition APC who were in court in solidarity with some of their colleagues that were petitioned.

By Alhaji Manika Kamara

Wednesday April 17, 2019.


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