Major breakthrough for Liberia fishing industry

The government of Wales has officially renamed and handed over the Pride of Wales- a fishing patrol vessel to enhance Liberia’s capacity to tackle illegal fishing along its vast coastline, Liberia’s Embassy here said on Wednesday.

The patrol vessel, which is Twin Caterpillar 3408 700hp, was handed over by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs of Wales, Lesley Griffiths.

The handover came after extensive discussions between the Welsh Government’s ‘Wales for Africa ‘  team with the Liberian Coast Guard and Fisheries Authority on the one hand, and the World Bank, EU  Fisheries Team on the other hand.

A press release from the Liberian Embassy in London says the FPV aegis, renamed ‘The Pride of Wales’, will increase patrol and vigilance, aimed at safe-guarding Liberia’s fishing industry from the illegal fishing of foreign trawlers.

Speaking at the ceremony held at the Conway Marina, Wales, Minister Griffiths  said it was a great honour to hand over such effective tool that will be of great value to Liberia fishing industry; stressing she remains  confident that the Pride of Wales, will serve the people of Liberia for generations to come.

The Welsh government’s representative asserted that the handover ceremony represent another important highlight for the Wales to Africa programme.

‘Such project, will build long standing relations between Wales and Africa, at a time when it is more important than ever to look outward  at how  we can support projects abroad.” The statement emphasized.

Making remarks at the ceremony, the ambassador of Liberia accredited to the Court of St. James, Amb. Gurly T. Gibson stressed that the people of Liberia were delighted by such important gesture from the people of Wales.

Amb Gibson extended the warm sentiments of the Liberian leader to the people of Wales.

“ I bring you greetings from H.E. Dr. George Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and he has asked me to convey his sincere appreciation for your interest in Liberia and the kind gesture from the people of Wales, to donate the “Pride of Wales” vessel to the Government and people of Liberia. “

Amb. Gibson asserted that such generous donation will be the cornerstone for lasting friendship and cooperation   between Liberia and Wales.

“The handover of this vessel will be an inspiration, determination and motivation to help enhance capacity and increase ability of the Liberia National Fisheries Authority to protect the Liberian waters and its operations.”

Amb. Gibson assured the people of Wales, that their kind deeds ‘will be utilized in contributing towards a viable operation at the Fisheries Authority of Liberia.’

The top Liberia diplomat also presented an artistic display of handshake, to representatives of the Welsh Government; as a gift which embodies the unique display of friendship and cordiality from the Liberian people, to the people of Wales.

She applauded the supervision of Mr. Jon Townley, Head of International Sustainable Development/Wales for Africa, for his resilient effort, devotion and patience in making this turnover ceremony possible.

Background: FPV Aegis (Renamed Pride of Wales) Was constructed in 1996. It has Twin Caterpillar 3408 700hp diesel engines, consumes 100/120 litre per hour at 17 Knots, has a 500 litre fresh water tank and 4000 litre fuel in two tanks, an anchor with 60m chain, navigation equipment including compass and GPS, satellite phone, Furuno Echo Sounder, Koden Radar, search light with remote control, navigation lights and four lifebuoys.