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Fisheries and Aquaculture Management and Development Law of 2019.

Type of law

This Act amends the law of Liberia regulating the fisheries sector. It's Long Title notwithstanding, it comprehensively covers marine and inland fisheries management and conservation, aquaculture and related activities, protection of the aquatic environment and post-harvest activities. It also provides for various institutional arrangements. The objective of this Act shall be to ensure the long-term management, conservation, development and sustainable use of the fisheries and aquaculture resources and related ecosystems for the benefit of the people of the Republic of Liberia. The Act is divided into 19 Chapters: General Provisions (1); Objective. Principles and Policy (2); Institutional Arrangements (3); Fisheries Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use (4); Fisheries Agreement and International Cooperation (5); Development and Regulation of Aquaculture (6); Post Harvest Activities (7); Information, Records, Returns, Registers (8); Compliance, Unlicensed Activities and Requirements for All Fishing Vessels (9); Fisheries Access: Licensing, Authorizations, Accreditation and Registration (10); Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) (11); Requirements for Arrested Persons and Seized Items (12); Jurisdiction, Forfeiture, Fines, Liabilities, Etc. (13); Summary Administrative Proceedings (14); Offences. Fines and Penalties (15); Evidence and Presumptions (16); Regulations (17); Miscellaneous (18); Effective Date (19). The Act is completed by two Schedules. Various Chapters are divided into Parts. the Act applies to all fishing and related activities in Liberia and to fishing and related activities by Liberians on the high seas.
At the outset the Act defines various principles that underlie fisheries management and conservation or the fisheries sector more generally. The Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority is required to prepare and to submit to the Cabinet for approval the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy. The Authority is responsible for the conservation, management and development of Liberia's fisheries resources in accordance with this Act. Co-Management Fisheries Associations may be established for the purpose of exercising rights and responsibilities within a designated area relating to information and decision-making for fisheries conservation, management and sustainable use. Any fishing community may apply to the Authority for the designation of a fisheries co-management area. The Association shall develop a fisheries management plan as soon as practicable after the establishment of the fisheries co-management area. The contravention of a management measure in an Association's fisheries management plan or entry into a co-management area in contravention of the plan or constitution of an Association by persons engaged in industrial, semi-industrial or artisanal fishing or related activities shall be punishable as non-compliance with this Act. "Related activities" includes, amongst others - storing, transhipping, processing or transporting fish or fish products up to the time they are first landed; onshore storing. buying. or processing fish or fish products from the time they are first landed; refuelling or supplying fishing vessels; exporting fish OI' fish products from the country, and seems to include also landing of fish. The Director General shall appoint a Fisheries Advisory Council.
The Act grants powers to the Board of the Authority to adopt various fisheries management and conservation measures. The Director General shall cause to be drawn up Fisheries Management Plans for any fishery or area in the Fisheries Waters and shall undertake consultation with relevant stakeholders, including, as appropriate, the Fisheries Advisory Council in the development of each Plan. The Inshore Exclusion Zone shall be reserved solely for the use of subsistence, artisanal and semi-industrial fishing activities. The Act prohibits, among other things, use of large-scale driftnets, use of harmful fishing techniques, introduction of genetically modified species of fish without permission, shark finning and fishing for internationally-protected shark species. It requires an authorisation for commercial shark fishing. The Act also provides with respect to protected or endangered fish species, special fisheries management areas, and the protection of wetlands and inland waters.
No person shall engage in aquaculture activities except in accordance with this Act. The Director General shall, in consultation with the Fisheries Advisory Council, as appropriate, prepare an aquaculture development plan and shall, in collaboration with Counties, districts and other local government bodies, ensure that aquaculture development is ecologically sustainable and allows rational use of the resource shared by aquaculture and other activities and that the livelihood, culture and traditions of local communities and their access to fishing grounds are not affected by aquaculture development. No person shall. by carrying out aquaculture activities, deprive a local community of its traditional access to fishing grounds. Each person engaged in commercial aquaculture in the Republic of Liberia shall take appropriate measures to prevent and/or minimise the risk of the escape of aquaculture stock into the wild. The Act also concerns transboundary aquaculture systems.
The Authority shall be the competent authority for post-harvest activities in the fisheries sector. It shall specify hygienic conditions for fish processing and handling and, by regulations, prescribe conditions necessary for ensuring that consumers are supplied only with safe, wholesome and unadulterated fish and fishery products. The Act prohibits illegal possession and trade in fish or fish products. The Authority shall have the power to test and certify all fish products entering or leaving Liberia and may coordinate with other countries so as to harmonize standards applying to fish.
As for authorisations require for fisheries and related activities, the Act specifies provides conditions and procedures for licenses, authorizations and accreditation. Landing of fish is not specifically mentioned as a related activity for which an authorisation is requires. There shall be established by the Authority a License Appeals Committee.
Any foreign fishing vessel wishing to fish in the fisheries waters of Liberia shall fulfil various requirements and shall not have been engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing or fishing related activities in support of such fishing. The operator of a fish processing facility shall ensure that no IUU-fish is accepted for processing. Foreign fishing vessel shall only enter or use designated ports with an authorisation and shall give at least 72 hours advance notice of port entry. Vessels suspected to have engaged in IUU fishing shall be denies port entry. The Act sets out criteria for port entry denial. The Director General shall, to the extent practicable and in any case where there is clear evidence of IUU fishing, transmit the results of an inspection of a vessel to the flag State of the inspected vessel. Any person who, knowing or having reasonable cause to know that a vessel has been denied the use of port to land, tranship, package or process fish that have not been previously landed or to use other port services, including, inter alia, refuelling and resupplying, maintenance and dry-docking, commits an offence.
Long title of text
An Act to Amend the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority Law by Adding Thereto the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management and Development.
Date of text
Publication reference
Official publication, 115 pp.
Source language


Legislation Amendment