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Artwork of Liberian Fisher Communities

Introduction........................................................................ 5

Community Sciences Volunteers. ............................................ 7 A.

Community Engagement

B.

Community Sciences Tools

C.

Illegal

D.

Dangers

E.

Beach Hygiene.................................................................... 24

F.

Sustainable Fisheries

G.

Looking Forward................................................................ 28

and

Ownership.................................... 9

and

Techniques. ........................... 12

trawling. ................................................................ 17 of

Fishing............................................................. 20

and

Conservation................................. 25

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Introduction: This collection of art is the result of a collaborative effort by community members of four coastal communities in Liberia; West Point, Marshall City, Robertsport and Buchanan. The community members are all volunteers in the Community Sciences program, an initiative supported by the World Bank designed to build capacity in West African artisanal fisher communities to monitor and better manage their coastal and inshore marine resources. The Community Sciences program aims to build strong and informed community groups with improved capacity to manage local coastal and fisheries resources effectively, and to advocate for this both locally and nationally. The program trains volunteer groups in fisher communities to use a set of basic science procedures to systematically gather and interpret data and information on the status and health of local coastal and marine resources. The underlying premise is that if communities themselves generate and analyze a data and information base which is locally relevant and easily understandable, they will be empowered to identify and institute more sustainable fisheries management practices. The data and information gathered also helps position communities to engage more effectively with national entities on policies relating to these resources. And, the national entities can use the community-collected data as input to national monitoring systems. Sustainability of the Community Sciences program is possible because it is rooted in community volunteerism and ownership. These drawings were put together by the volunteers, representing a broad range of stakeholders

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in fishing communities including fishers, fish processors, elders and youths, during the National Community Sciences Workshop held in Monrovia, December 3rd and 4th 2010. The Community Sciences volunteers were provided with markers and papers during the workshop and invited to draw illustrations individually or as groups to illustrate issues of special importance to them on the Community Sciences program and life in coastal communities. During the closing ceremony, Dr. Sizi Z. Subah, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, presented awards recognizing the most expressive and emotive pieces of art. The industrial fishing fleet stands out particularly strongly in the volunteers’ drawings as a threat to the ecosystem as well as a physical threat to the fishers themselves. With limited enforcement of fishing regulations to date, industrial trawlers have been fishing illegally in the inshore exclusion zone dedicated to artisanal fishers (in Liberia, the inshore exclusion zone is six nautical miles). The drawings suggest the same trawlers seem to be repeat offenders, as the volunteers drew many of the same vessel identification numbers. The drawings also provide an interesting insight into the Community Sciences volunteers’ perceptions of the Community Sciences program and the issues facing the coastal communities. In particular, we see a number of illustrations of community life and the collaborative effort behind the Community Sciences program suggesting that the program’s focus on building community cohesion and social capital is taking root in the communities. Community members also devoted some of their drawing to some important themes of the Community Sciences program, including sustainable fishing practices, sanitation, hygiene and conservation of endangered species. To learn more about Community Sciences and to view the monthly monitoring reports of the community volunteers visit: www.communitysciences.org

We thank all the volunteers for dedicating their time to these drawings!

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Community Sciences Volunteers Buchanan Anna Essien - Benjamin S. Sieh - Andrews K. Amekortu - Nyamah N. Cheeks - Savice Doe John Koffie - Oretha K. Nimely - Larry Smith - Kofi Assoum - N’Diaja Diop - Elijah Seneh Morris Gongar - Regina Kumeh - Samuel C. Ankoh - Moses Toe

West Point Joseph J. Gaiwieh - Ijuha Nah - Abraham W. Wleh - Julius T. Wleh - Jerry N. Blamo Romina A. Blamo - Ezekiel T. Chenne - Alphonso B. Nah - Cynthia Wright

Marshall City Nod Koijee - Kwesi Kaya - Amada Siafa - Comfort Willie - Joseph Mathew - Alex T. Koijee John L. Binda - Sampson Doe - MacArthur William - Alvin Wright - Emmanuel Bentil George Bangar - Helena Wiah - Musu Ballah

Robertsport Charles W. Sampson - Augustine Tregbe - Andrew K. Nyanforh - Abraham B. Fahnbulleh Musu Dukuly - Boakia B. Kiazolu - Ciapha Kromah - GoOdwin Kennedy - Deborah Wah Theresa Kofa - Sorebe Suma

Community Sciences Coordinator: Patrick D. Sayon

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A. Community Engagement Community engagement and ownership are critical components of a successful community based natural resource management approach. By developing local capacity of groups of community volunteers to monitor coastal and inshore marine resources the Community Sciences program strenghthens community collaboration and the development of social capital. These first drawings illustrate the collaborative effort of Community Sciences

and

Ownership

1

2

1

Marshall City team monitoring fish

2

Community Sciences monitoring site, West Point Kru Beach, by JNB

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3

4

3,4 Illustrations of the communities’ interaction with their coastal environment

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The presence of debris on the beach including plastic bags, old fishing nets, and human waste, impacts on the quality of life of all community members

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B. Community Sciences Tools and Techniques The Community Sciences program trains volunteer groups in fisher communities to use a set of basic science procedures to systematically gather and interpret data and information on the status and health of local resources. In these drawings, the community volunteers illustrate some of the equipment used and procedures followed to gather data and information on a monthly basis.

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Illustrations of monitoring equipment including a compass, a fish measuring board, binoculars, a thermometer and a watch


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Measuring air temperature in Marshall City

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Measuring the tide level

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Shoreline monitoring in Marshall City

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Fish monitoring – measuring the length of fish caught to determine whether is it a juvenile or not


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Tide level measurement

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A compass, to monitor wind direction

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More monitoring tools

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C. Illegal

trawling

The presence of illegal trawlers in the inshore exclusion zone is an important concern for community members in Liberia’s fisher communities. These illustrations reinforce the very strong concern the community members have with these trawlers. Monthly monitoring by volunteers as part of the Community Sciences program show that illegal trawling in the inshore exclusion zone (6 nautical miles in Liberia) remains widespread. 14

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West Point Trawler identified as SETA - 70 by JNB

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Trawler catching a full net of fish, Joseph Gaiwieh


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Trawler identifed as SETA -70, fishing in the exclusion zone (EEZ), A.K. Amekortu

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Trawler SETA – 70, repeatedly identified in the volunteers’ drawings

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D. Dangers

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Fishing

Many drawings illustrate the various dangers associated with the work of an artisanal fisher. In Liberia, much of the fishing is done in small canoes built with a single wooden trunk (“kru” canoes). These are unstable and are ill equipped to confront rough seas and imposing industrial trawlers. 18

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Twin trawler about to run over and destroy artisanal fishers’ nets. Such trawlers sometimes also accidentally run over artisanal fisher’s canoes, Alex A. Yorcee


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Trawlers dangerously close to artisanal fishing boats

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A trawler identified as SETA 65 destroying a fishing net

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Canoes capsizing when facing strong waves

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Fishermen entangled in a trawler’s large fishing net

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Small boat in powerful seas

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E. Beach Hygiene Hygiene and sanitation are an important element of the Community Sciences program. In the monthly monitoring procedures, the volunteers gather information on the cleanliness of the shoreline (i.e. presence of refuge and waste on the beach)and hygienic conditions of the areas of the beaches where fish are landed and processed. Following Community Sciences training, many community members have organized themselves to clean the beaches, as illustrated below. 24

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Beach cleaning in Marshall City


F. Sustainable Fisheries and Conservation Through monthly monitoring activities by the volunteer groups, a core objective of the Community Sciences program is to develop community stewardship and management of the coastal and inshore marine areas. The illustrations below show a growing concern for sustainable fishing practices and an interest in conservation.

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Illegal monofilament net is used for fishing, Marshall City Destructive net with small mesh size, Samuel Arkoh

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27, 28, 29 Turtle conservation is of concern to community volunteers

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G. Looking Forward These drawings represent community volunteers’ aspiration for improved coastal and inshore marine resource management. Illustrations show expectations of plentiful and higher quality fish in the future. 30

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Plentiful buckets of fish for fish processors, JNB

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Large pelagics including sharks and tuna

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Fishing for larger fish

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www . communitysciences . org


Artwork of Liberian Fisher Communities  

Draw by Community Sciences voluneteers at the Community Sciences National Workshop in Monrovia, Liberia (December 2010)

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