Artisanal Fisheries

Artisanal Fisheries are a key sector of marine capture fisheries in Liberia, providing food and livelihoods to coastal communities throughout the country. Recent surveys indicate that there are approximately 3300 canoes and more than 11,000 fishers operating actively from 114 fish landing sites along the 579-kilometer coastline. The artisanal fleet comprises the indigenous Kru canoe (1–3 person crew), operated by Kru fishermen using paddles or sail. These are small dugout canoes up to about 7m, deploying mainly hooks, long lines and gillnets which target barracudas, croakers, grunters, grappers and also target crabs and lobsters. Fanti canoes are larger (12–15 m), built with planks and powered by 15–40 hp engines; they operate with a crew of up to 15.

Their gears are ring and purse nets used for small pelagic species, with larger gillnets specifically adapted for different species and seasons. While some Fanti canoes are permanently based in Liberia, others migrate along the coast from countries such as Ghana. Similar canoes migrate down from northern West Africa, some coming from as far as Senegal.