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17.03.2009 General News

Insanity in fishing industry: Govt urged to intensify control

By The Statesman

The ruling National Democratic Congress has once again been called to expedite action in fulfillment of its campaign promise made to local fisherfolk to bring sanity into Ghana's fishing industry.

A Sekondi-Takoradi based environmental Non-governmental organisation, Friends of the Nation, has called on President Evans Atta-Mills and the NDC governement to strengthen Monitoring, Control and Surveillance activities in the fishing industry to help eliminate all negative and illegal practices currently going on in the industry.

According to the Programmes Co-ordinator, Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah, a number of illegal activities such as pair trawling and fishing with dangerous chemical like DDT, carbide and dynamite currently going on in the industry should as a matter of urgency be stopped to save the industry from collapse.

At a press conference in Takoradi last week Friday to express concern over problems facing the fishing industry, Mr. Yamoah suggested that it would not be out of place if Government resourced a number of agencies and organisations such as the Directorate of Fisheries, the Fisheries Commission and the Ghana Navy to effectively carry out monitoring activities in the industry. The activities of these agencies, he said, should also be backed with proper legal support like the Fisheries Law and other Legislative Instruments.

He also called for the re-activation and institutionalisation of community-based Fisheries Management Committee structures at the community, district, regional and national levels.

The Friends of the Nation Programmes Co-ordinator noted that all these measures have become necessary as a result of the current weak Monitoring Control and Surveillance of fishing activities, especially in marine fisheries.

According to him these and other problems have culminated in the gradual collapse of artisanal fisheries in the country.

He said depletion of the marine fish stock due to inadequate official conservation mechanism by successive governments was not helping solve matters and therefore called for collaboration between the ruling NDC and other developing partners in the African sub-region.

Mr. Yamoah re-iterated that the fisheries industry which have over the years served as a major source of livelihood for coastal communities and employment for many Ghanaians should be sustained at all cost for future generations, adding that supporting the industry would go a long way to reduce poverty in coastal communities.

As part of moves to salvage the industry from collapse, Friends of the Nation earlier in the week organised a two-day workshop for over fifty fishermen in the Western Region to sensitise them on problems facing the industry and the way forward.