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Stakeholders examine impact of oil exploration on fishery industry

By gna

Stakeholders in the oil and gas industries on Tuesday began a two-day meeting to examine the likely impact of oil exploration on the fishing industry.

The meeting put together by the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung would also explore measures to mitigate any likely impact of exploration activities to avoid conflict, frustration and disappointment among the fishermen.

Mr Alfred Tetebo, Director of Fisheries at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, who spoke on behalf of the sector Minister, said stakeholders needed to evolve policies based on honest dialogue and negotiation to best manage the various interests and requirements.

He said the Ministry, together with the Attorney General would work on new regulations to meet the inadequacies of the Fisheries Act 254 especially with regard to oil spillage.

Ms Kathrin Meissner, Resident Director of FES, said attempts should be made to contain the high expectations among Ghanaians that the oil find was going to trigger economic development.

"As oilfields are offshore, communities likely to be most affected are those of the fisher folks. Our concern is the impact the oil exploration will have on the fish stock.”

She said these concerns could be resolved and many demands properly addressed if stakeholders involved dialogued and negotiated to address expectations in a transparent and inclusive way to manage various interests and requirements.

Dr Apiagyei Gyamfi, Director of Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy, said a team would be set up to examine activities of the fisheries sector.

He said government would promote relevant laws and regulations for fishing communities and guarantee that these were obeyed.