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08.12.2007 General News

New Fisheries regulations before parliament soon


New Fisheries Regulations, which are aimed at enhancing the effective implementation of the Fisheries Act 625 of 2002 will soon be put before Parliament for approval, Mrs. Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries has announced.

When approved by Parliament, Practitioners in the aquaculture sector of the economy could fall on the regulations to seek redress when their fish was stolen or their establishments tampered with, she said at this year's Farmers' Day celebration at Wa on Friday.

The day, which saw 51 farmers, ten extension staff of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and one research staff of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) receiving various awards, was celebrated under the theme; "Ghana at 50, progress and challenges of sustainable agricultural development".

The Regulations, Mrs. Asmah said, would deal with regular monitoring and inspection of aquaculture establishments, fish seed production certification, fish breeding and responsible aquaculture practice.

The rest are, tampering with aquaculture establishments, aquaculture record keeping, transfer of fish within the country and penalties for the violation of each regulation.

As a step to send the management and administration of fishing to the people, Community Based Fishing Management Committees were being formed in all fish landing beaches in the country.

These Committees, she explained, were made up of stakeholders of the Industry in the various fishing communities who would co-manage the fishery resources in their communities with the state by regulating fishing activities through enforcement of the fishery laws.

This year, the Ministry has in its support programmes introduced an input credit system under which fingerlings and fish feed were produced on loan to prospective fish farmers and assisted fish farmers to construct ponds.

It was also enticing the financial institutions through the organization of workshops and farm visits for project officers to respond positively to applications for loans for aquaculture projects.

Mr. George Hikah Benson, the Upper West Regional Minster, said the region had 360 fishing families producing about 74 metric tonnes of various fish species per year and that was able to supplement the protein requirement of people in the region.

Mr. Philip Abayore, President of National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association called on the government to establish an Agricultural Fund to manage Agricultural credit in the country.

He suggested that Farmers and Fishers should be fully represented in mainstream agricultural activities such as the negotiation, implementation and evaluation of all agricultural projects in the country.