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06.07.2005 General News

Ministry recommends waivers on fishing inputs

GNA

Accra, July 6, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries, on Wednesday said the Ministry had recommended waiving of customs duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) on some fishing inputs such as nets, twines and other fisheries related inputs imported into the country. This is to enable fishermen to procure these inputs at reasonable and affordable prices when these waivers were transferred to them. Mrs Asmah was reacting to a question by Mr Lee Ocran, NDC Jomoro on what arrangements the Ministry had put in place to enable fishermen to procure inputs at reasonable prices.

The Minister said the Ministry of Fisheries through the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) was facilitating the sale of outboard motors to fishermen at a very reasonable price to enable them to make optimum use of the fishing season.

She said 1,000 outboard motors were allocated to the various coastal districts, which would sell at 23.2 million cedis, but the purchases have been slow and to-date only 315 has been sold. On what plans she had put in place to solve the problem of illegal use of "light" for fishing by canoe fishermen along the coast, Mrs Asmah said "Section 88 (1) of the Fisheries Act 625 of 2002 does permit the use of explosive, poison or other noxious substance for the purpose of killing, stunning, disabling or catching fish, or in any way rendering fish more easily caught.

"Fishing by light attraction renders fish more easily caught and, therefore, not permitted but the Ministry has, however, agreed with canoe and inshore fishers to try the trammel nets, which have been designed for use as an alternative for fishing."

Ms Akua Sena Dansua, NDC MP for North Dayi wanted to know when Kpando Torkor would be fully developed as a landing site since the Kpando District Assembly and the Volta River Authority jointly built a partial landing site there about eight years ago.

Mrs Asmah said the Ministry intended to undertake a technical study to ascertain the rate of utilisation of the site and the number of canoes at work as well as the volume of trade.

She said this would ascertain whether or not it would be a viable proposition to warrant further investment into development of the landing site.

"The Ministry will then take a decision based on the recommendations of the report submitted."

She said work at Kpando Torkor started in May 1973 and the landing site was officially opened in October 1975, but unfortunately the water body had receded to the extent that the ramps are now permanently exposed and, therefore, could not be used for save landing of the boats.

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