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29.12.2004 Regional News

Government asked to restrain inshore fishermen

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Tema Manhean, Dec. 29, GNA - The Canoe Fisheries Association (CFA) at Tema has renewed it call on the government to restrain the Inshore Fisheries Association from using light for fishing.

It has also warned fishmongers not to buy fish from the inshore fishermen popularly known as "lagee lagee" or "pelele" because they used dynamite and chemicals like DDT for fishing, making their catch unwholesome.

Nii Adjeiteh Mator, Tema Chief Fisherman, who made the call on behalf of CFA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Monday, said fishmongers who would not comply with the order would have their fishes seized.

He said light brightened the area of fishing and attracted more fishes including the fingerlings while some were driven far deep into sea.

Nii Mator expressed fear that if the fishermen continued to use light in their operations, fishes in the sea would diminish and they (fishermen) would be thrown out of business since fishing was their main source of income.

He said inshore fishermen had for the past two years ignored persistent requests by canoe fishermen to stop the practice because it was unproductive.

Nii Mator said last week, about 25 canoe fishermen confronted him at his house at Tema Manhean to demand explanation to why the light system was still in use and threatened to embark on a demonstration if nothing was done about the situation.

He said the fishermen had wanted to demonstrate just before the 2004 Election but Mr Ishmael Ashitey, Member of Parliament for Tema East and Minister of State at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Presidential Initiatives stopped them.

Nii Mator, therefore, called on the authorities in charge of fisheries to ensure that the use of light for fishing was banned. He said canoe fishermen were over 1,000 while the inshore fishermen numbered only 100 "so we cannot look unconcerned while our members are displaced by a few selfish people".

Nii Mator said the canoe fishermen operated only in the afternoon while the inshore fishermen who used trawlers work in the night " using strange nets for their catch".

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