Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Mr Charles S. Rogers has told Awoko that they have put all modalities in place to combat shortage of fish in the market.
In an interview with the minister yesterday at his Youyi building office, he said during this period every year there is what he refers to as an artificial shortage of fish, but this time round they have made sure that doesn’t happen as they have banned all exportation and have made sure that the distribution network is effective so that all areas will get enough fish to buy.
“our market receives fish from two sources the artisanal fishermen that fish along the coast and the industrial that is the trollies that have the bigger catch. But the market gets more fish from the artisanal fishermen, now that the seaweed and the wind is affecting them, it is but certain that we must turn to the industrial fishermen to supply the market.”
Mr Rogers said it is because of these reasons that they have placed a ban on export so that they can serve the market adequately. He said yesterday morning they went around the cold rooms and they were satisfied with that they saw as most of the cold rooms were filled to the brim with fish.
The minister said the more the supply the cheaper will be the product and that is what they want to let happen this period.
When asked if the ban is effective, Mr Rogers said it is and on Wednesday night a lorry filled with fish was apprehended by the Guinea border and has been brought to town and seized.
“We will monitor the borders and make sure that nobody breaks the ban and if anyone tries, he will be charged to court. The fish is produced in our waters and the people of Sierra Leone should have the first option. Until we are satisfied then we can export to other countries.”
He called on the fish mongers to take advantage of the situation and make sure that the people get the fish they need and they should not sell exorbitantly to the public.
Mr Charles Rogers said the artisanal fishermen are challenged right now but they will do all they can to help them as the seaweed is being cleared at the beaches and they will continue to give them update on the weather daily so that they will know when to go out fishing.