Plans ongoing to ensure sanity in fishing industry
Accra, April 12, GNA - The Ghana Inshore Fishermen Association (GIFA) on Tuesday said that the fishing industry was beset with many problems due to the absence of Fisheries Management Plan to control the activities within the industry. Mr Joseph Nii Armah Quaye, National President of GIFA, said the inshore fishing industry with about 500 fishing vessels and 4,000 fishermen and fish processors was dying gradually as a result of the problems facing the industry. This was made known when Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries, interacted with members of the GIFA to find solutions to the problems facing the industry. Mr Quaye condemned the use of lights for fishing in the lean season saying, "this disturbs the biological cycle of the fish stock". He explained that light fishing was done in the lean season to attract fishes to the surface at a time when the fishes were supposed to be resting in deeper waters for the bumper season. Cataloguing some of the problems facing the industry, Flight Lieutenant Mitiades Tackey (Rtd) President, National Fisheries Association of Ghana, called for an alternative to light fishing to make the ban become effective instead of making it a mirage. He said the semi industrial fishing vessels used truck engines instead of marine engines because they were too expensive for boat owners to buy while the beaches lacked cold-chain facilities, which also posed a problem to the storage and preservation of the fish. He called on the Fisheries Ministry to be proactive by putting in place effective plans and measures as well as share new technologies with them to help to sustain the industry.
Responding to the problems, Mrs Asmah said a policy and action plan were being put in place to streamline activities of the industry. She said a training programme on new methods of fishing would be organized for those in the industry to enable them to be innovative as well as to train the younger ones in other vocations to make them earn a living.
Mrs Asmah said some donors had been contacted for support to upgrade Elmina, Axim, Mumford and James Town fish landing sites. She also said a research vessel would be in the country next month to help to solve some of the problems facing the industry while proposal had been sent to other countries for more of such vessels. The Minister called for proposals, suggestions and solutions that would move the industry forward. 12 April 2005