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20.07.2005 General News

Ministry to train fishermen in alternative livelihood.


Axim (W/R) July 20 -GNA- The Ministry for Fisheries would soon begin the training of fishermen under its alternative livelihood programme to supplement their incomes during lean fishing seasons.

They would be assisted to acquire skills in mushroom cultivation, snail and grass-cutter rearing, among others as another means to reduce poverty.

Mr. Daniel Dugan, Deputy Minister for Fisheries announced this when he met fishermen at Axim in the Nzema East District on Tuesday. It was part of his tour of some fishing communities in the Western Region to discuss problems in the fishing industry and find solution to them through a coordinated approach.

There was a similar meeting of the various fishermen groups at New-Takoradi and Shama in the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Area.

The supply and distribution of pre-mix petrol, problems encountered in the acquisition of fishing gear, absence of storage facilities, financial assistance and unorthodox fishing methods were among topics discussed.

Mr. Dugan announced that the Government is sourcing for funds to build a multi-million dollar modern fishing harbour with storage facilities at Axim. He said the creation of the new ministry was a demonstration of the Government's determination to find lasting solution to problems facing fishermen and also ensure accelerated growth of the fishing industry.

Mr. Dugan said the Ministry is collaborating with the financial institutions to provide assistance to support the operations of fishermen.

At all the meetings, the fishermen spoke extensively about the use of aggregated lights particularly by foreign fishing vessels which, they said, was causing a great harm to the industry.

They also complained bitter about pair trawling by foreign vessels close to the shores to damage fish stocks in the country's waters and urged the Ministry to address the issue before it was too late.

Fishermen at Shama spoke about irregular supply of pre-mix petrol, saying there was enough of the commodity only during the lean season when only few fishermen go to sea.

Nana Eferimu, chief fisherman of Shama Benti thanked the Government for the creation of a separate ministry for fisheries and said fishermen support every move to remove all the bottlenecks hindering the growth of the fishing industry.