17.07.2013 General News

Killer DDT, Dynamite Still Used In Fishing

By The Independent, Ghana
Killer DDT, Dynamite Still Used In Fishing
17.07.2013 LISTEN

Even though government has banned the use of DDT, dynamite, lightening and unspecified fishing nets used in the country (due to the new Fishing Legislative Instrument passed by parliament), fisher folks along the coastal belt are still using them.

These chemicals, according to health expects, pose danger to human health. A visit to the Elmina and Cape Coast landing beaches saw some fishes caught with dynamite and DDT where the eyes of those fishes turned red while some fishermen were seen using light fishing traps.

The light fishing traps were designed in a way that once the light was switched on and put into the sea, it trapped all kinds of species in a fishing net regardless of the size of the fish.

Pair trawling which was disastrous to the fishing industry and has even led to countless demonstrations against the government has resurrected again especially in Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipality of the Central Region.

Information available to The Independent has proven that these pair trawlers no longer undertake their fishing in the deep waters but chase the small canoes to the shores to fish which, according to the local fishermen, poses a threat to them.

"Instead of these pair trawlers fishing deep in the sea, they now follow us down to the shores to fish. Why? They quizzed.

"This is because government has failed to perform its responsibility, leaving us to suffer," they said.

The banned materials, according to information available, were to make sanity prevail in the industry as well as allow for continuous catch all year- long.

Currently, government's decision has been abandoned due to irregular checks and control by security officials and stakeholders within the industry.

The Independent gathered that last year when the fishing law came into force, armed navy personnel from Takoradi patrolled the coastal areas to check and arrest fishermen who used those banned equipments.

The Chief Fisherman of Elmina, Nana Akonu, confirmed the use of DDT, dynamite, pair trawling, use of light and unspecified nets to fish when interviewed by The Independent.

He stated that fisher folks have gone back to using those banned materials and methods due to government's failure to monitor the coastal areas.

According to him, although government have banned them from using light to fish, he has turned a blind eye to pair trawling canoes which endangers the fish species in the sea.

He therefore appealed to government to set up a testing machine at all the shores of the country to test the use of DDT and dynamite in the sea.

"If government wants to curb the usage of such chemicals, then he should set up a machine that will test any fish brought from the sea by the fisher folks. This will really help us" he stated.

Nana Akonu noted that since government banned the use of such chemicals and unspecified nets, some fisher folks have been rendered very poor.

He however urged government to subsidise the purchase of new quality nets to enable them start a new fishing expedition since the industry was collapsing.

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