27.03.2004 Regional News

Tema canoe fishermen threaten to attack colleagues

27.03.2004 LISTEN

Tema, March 27, GNA- Canoe fishermen operating along the Accra-Tema coast have threatened to attack fishermen who operate light fishing in the territorial waters if the government does not take any action to stop them. They explained that light fishing practiced by the trawling boats use chemicals and generator and virtually catch all fishes including the small ones thus driving fishes to deep sea.

They said when this happened those who operate smaller boats could not get fish to catch.

They issued the threat at a forum organised by the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement (CSRM) a non-governmental organisation (NGO) for canoe/inshore fishermen and fish mongers for a solution to the problem. The fishermen and fishmongers were drawn from Prampram, Teshie, Nungua, Old Ningo and mostly Tema Manhean.

They observed that the livelihood of the people of Tema Manhean, mostly fishermen depended on the Chemu lagoon, which is now "dead" due to the discharge of chemicals in it by some industries in Tema and this had deprived them of their jobs.

Mr Ishmael Ashitey, MP for Tema East and Minister of State, in charge of Presidents Special Initiatives (PSI), and the Chief Fisherman in the area, Nii Mator urged them to report to the Navy personnel and the security agencies anyone found doing lighting fishing.

In a speech read for him, Mr Edward Akita, Minister in charge of Fisheries said lighting fishing was banned in the Ghanaian waters". He said going by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) code of conduct for responsible fisheries, all member countries must ensure that fishing is carried out with the best practices.

"The stand of the Ministry is that light fishing remains banned in Ghanaian waters until better and newer evidence become available to us that could suggest the contrary", the Minister stated.

He added that the scientists of the Directorate of Fisheries are collecting data and information on how to address the problem.

Mr Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio, Acting Executive Secretary of CSRM, called for rehabilitation of the Chemu lagoon to enable the indigenous fishermen do fishing.

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