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Stakeholders discuss ways to combat unregulated fishing


Experts in the fishery sector on Thursday called
for the review of fishing laws to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated

(IUU) fishing.
They also called for review of operations of the existing Monitoring Control Systems (MCS) and research to determine the cost of IUU on the

Ghanaian economy.
The experts were discussing how to effectively organise and position themselves to use help of developmental partners to address IUU fishing in

Ghana at a meeting organised by the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, University of Ghana, Legon, in collaboration with the US Embassy in Accra.

The U.S. Government's commitment to combating IUU fishing is embodied in the visit to Ghana of a US Navy ship, USS Nashville, part of the Africa Partnership Station Initiative, which provided extensive, sustained training and multi-national collaboration on a regional level to help coastal nations achieve security in the Gulf of Guinea.

Dr. Francis K.E. Nunoo, Senior Lecturer, Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, said currently, nobody knew exactly how much IUU fishing was taking place but it was on record that IUU fishing accounted for a large percentage of total catches.

He said the most worrying aspect was that, the amount of IUU fishing worldwide appeared to be increasing, as IUU fishers tried to avoid stricter fishing rules that were being created to deal with declining catches in a growing number of fish stocks.

Dr. Nunoo mentioned general improvement of MCS and its infrastructure, awareness creation, capacity building, political will and enforcement of laws as potential solutions to IUU fishing in Ghana.

“Illegal fishing is a worldwide problem requiring a global solution. Regardless of how effective individual countries are at policing their own waters there is a limit to what any one country can achieve in isolation due to the global nature of the issues,” he said.

Mr Alfred Tetebo, Director of Fisheries, said low fines at the courts did not deter people from the act and stressed the need for the judiciary to review the fines upwards to scare offenders.

He suggested training of staff of some state institutions to be abreast with IUU fishing to enable them to help fight the menace.

Mr Tetebo said the Ministry had prepared a regulation to supplement the existing fishery laws that would soon be submitted to Parliament.

Representatives from the Portuguese, US, Senegalese and Italian navies shared their experiences in assisting their countries in combating IUU fishing.