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11.01.2005 Regional News

Enforce law on fishing with light - MOFA urged

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Accra, Jan 11, GNA - Canoe fishermen at the Jamestown beach in Accra have urged the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to strictly enforce the law banning the use of light in fishing.

Large fishing vessels, which encroach the country's waters use light in their operation "sacking the fish deep sea," Kwei Mensah, a fisherman told Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the weekend.

The fishermen made the appeal at Bukom when the MP for Ododiodoo, Mr Samuel Ayikwei Mankattah, held a get-together to thank them for their staunch support, which ensured his victory in the December 7 2004 elections.

They explained that since the use of light by the large fishing vessels sent the fish deeper beyond their reach, most canoe fishermen go to sea and return with little or no catch.

The fishermen said they had been incurring huge loses from their operations and wasting fuel in their expeditions, which was not encouraging the youth to take to fishing as a vocation.

They appealed to the Ghana Navy to step up their patrols on the high seas to apprehend vessels fishing illegally in the country's waters.

Mr Mankattah said the get-together was to afford him the opportunity to hear their problems for solution since they formed an important segment of the people in the constituency.

The MP stressed his determination to do all in his power to influence policies that would improve the sector and the lot of fishermen during his tenure of office and called for more support to promote the industry.

Mr Mankattah assured them of his support and co-operation and urged them to refrain from remarks that could lead to "unnecessary political tension " in the area.

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