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27.01.2010 General News

Local canoes get registration numbers

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Nii Amasa Namoale, deputy Minister of Fisheries, last Friday launched the embossment of canoe registration numbers in the country, at the landing beach of the Tema Fishing Harbour.

The deputy Minister disclosed that the first 1,000 canoes to register with the project at the pilot level would pay only half of the total cost of the registration fee, which is GH¢24, and the other half to be borne by the government.

The objective of the exercise, he said, would serve a number of purposes, including easy identification of canoes in the country, to enable the government or fisheries authorities know the exact number of canoes, to be able to include them in policy formulation, and also to regulate the activities of canoes to avoid accidents.

According to the deputy Minister, the Fisheries Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoFA) initiated action on the program in February 2009, with the full participation of stakeholders made up of chief fishermen and others stakeholders in the marine sector, to come out with these legal requirements.

He continued that a meeting was consequently held between the stakeholders, and at that meeting, it was agreed that during the pilot project, canoe owners would pay 50% of the total fee for an embossed plate, with the other half being paid by the government.

He however stated that after the pilot project, canoes owners would be expected to buy their own vessel registration plates from the open market, as was in the case of motor vehicles, at full cost.

Nii Armah Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, who delivered the welcome address, called on fishermen and fishmongers operating at the Tema Fishing Harbour landing beach, to ensure that they clean up their environment regularly.

He disclosed that the government was doing everything possible to encourage the Ghanaian youth to take an interest in fishing, as it was one area that was very lucrative.

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