Sierra Leone: Nation's Marine Environment, Resources Protected

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What naval assets are available to Sierra Leone to monitor and protect the coastal and marine areas?

Setting up of the Joint Maritime Committee is a step in the right direction. The current surveillance capability drive that includes the establishment of a Maritime Rescue Co-ordinating Centre and the installation of coastal radar at cape light house under the JMC sets the stage for an effective Early Warning System in SL. These equipments will be jointly operated at the JMC Command Centre with operators at designated coastal stations outside Freetown who will monitor maritime threats and report back to the JMC Command Centre. The JMC COMCEN will be manned 24/7 with trained personnel who will respond at short notice to all forms of maritime disasters.
The Sierra Leone Navy has one range patrol boat and small inshore patrol crafts for monitoring the waters.

What programmes exist in Sierra Leone for the identification and study of flora, fauna and economic resources of coastal and marine ecosystems?

[The] National Biodiversity and Action Plan has been developed by Sierra Leone.

A number of programmes detailed in this document are currently been undertaken. The World Bank, under the West Africa Regional Programme, is implementing major fisheries projects in these directions.

How much in money does the country earn yearly from its marine and estuary resources?

Recently the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources announced a figure of 11 billion leones [about $275,000] as contribution to the government's revenue which was about 11 per cent to Gross Domestic Product.

Who is responsible for ensuring that coastal and marine fisheries resources are exploited only on a sustainable basis? What are the results of such efforts, so far?

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is responsible for the management of fisheries resources and related habitats in a manner which would maximize benefit in terms of fish catch now and in the future. It is expected to develop fisheries resources and to devise methods of enhancing current production e.g. by means of aquaculture and more effective exploitation.

The ministry issues licenses for offshore trawling and monitors small-scale inshore and offshore large-scale fishing. It is also responsible for enforcing laws on fishing activities and concerns itself with pollution and other environmental problems which affect water quality and fisheries resources.

There has been a decline in the reported level of incursions by fish trawlers into the prohibited areas and reduction in the level of bad fishing practices by artisanal fishers.

Climate change, adaptation; coastal resource management. 

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