Sierra Leone has received four inshore patrol craft donated by the Republic of South Korea to help the country to protect its territorial waters from illegal fishing by foreign vessels.

President Maada Bio, while commissioning the vessels, highlighted that Sierra Leone loses an estimated US$26 million in annual revenue to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by foreign vessels and that it is a threat to food security, livelihoods, economic development, and sustainable fisheries management in the country. “Add this to the millions of dollars lost to other illegal activities such as tax evasion, under-reporting of fish catch, and overfishing of our waters that degrade our marine environment and strip local fishing communities of their livelihoods, and the real cost of these illegal acts by foreign vessels mounts up,” he explained.

President Bio believes the new patrol craft will help to address illegal fishing by foreign vessels thus protecting the country’s territorial waters and marine resources. He noted that “Sierra Leone truly appreciates the Republic of Korea’s commitment to cooperating towards the development goals outlined in Sierra Leone’s Medium-Term National Development Plan. I, therefore, thank the Government and People of The Republic of Korea through Your Excellency, Mr Lee-in Tae.”

Read the full press release here.

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