Paynesville – While appearing live on ELBC on May 21, 2022 to outline activities at her agency, Madam Emma Glassco, the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), claimed that Liberia has the lowest fish per capita consumption in the region. The NaFAA boss cited USAID statistics as reliance for assertion.
Report By: Varney Kelvin Sirleaf | LVL Fact Checker
Said Glassco: “Even from the USAID report, do you know that the average fish per capita consumption in Liberia is at the lowest in the region? We are at 5kg whilst the average should be at 23.5kg per person”. To put another way, she claimed that Liberians consume the least quantity of fish as compared to other countries in the region.
But did the head of NaFAA get her facts right? LVL Fact Checking Desk conducted brief research to verify the authenticity of this statement by Madam Glassco.
First, we checked the USAID website and found a 2016 report titled the Importance of Wild Fisheries for Local Food Security: Liberia which states that Liberia’s average per capita annual fish consumption is 5.0kg, adding that the country is amongst the lowest in the region.
States the report: “[Liberia’s] Average per capita annual fish and shellfish consumption is estimated to be 5.0 kg, much lower than in neighboring countries such as Sierra Leone (25.3 kg, 55.8 lbs.) and Guinea (10.5 kg, 23.1 lbs.)”
Second, we found the 2020 ECOWAS Statistical Factsheet on Fishery and Aquaculture in West Africa. The document also states that the average per capita consumption of fish in Liberia in 2021 was at 5.67kg and it’s even expected to drop to 5.36kg in 2022. The data also show that in 2021 Liberia consumed less fish than Benin (19.0 kg), Ivory Coast (21.68 kg), Gambia (25.67kg), Ghana (25.09kg), Guinea (24.47kg), Nigeria (8.23kg), and Sierra Leone (24.02kg), amongst other countries in West Africa.
The third document we checked to verify this statement by the NaFAA boss is the FAO monitoring report which is titled Liberia Agricultural Livelihoods and Food Security in the Context of Covid-19. This report, which was published in January 2021, stresses that “despite the country’s fish stocks and marine resources, Liberia has an annual per capita fish consumption of only 5 kg, which is the lowest in the Mano River Union countries”.
Meanwhile, Madam Glassco also claimed that the global average per capita consumption of fish is 23.5kg. This means Liberia is far below since it has an average consumption of 5kg per capita.
Based on data contained in several authoritative reports, we concluded that Madam Glassco assertion or claim that Liberia has the lowest average fish per capita consumption in the region which is 5kg is mostly correct. The reliance for her statement which is the USAID report also corroborate with her statement. Additionally, the FAO and ECOWAS data also support her claim. Both USAID and FAO reports show that per capita fish consumption in Liberia is 5kg. While the ECOWAS Commission Department of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources report reveals that annual per capita fish consumption in Liberia was at 5.67kg in 2021.
The average fish per capita consumption in Liberia is at the lowest in the region? We are at 5kg whilst the average should be at 23.5kg per person
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