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20.07.2005 General News

Increase fuel allocation - Fishermen

GNA

Winneba, July 20, GNA - Fishermen in Winneba on Wednesday asked the Ministry of Fisheries (MOF) to increase their monthly Premixed fuel allocation from about 20,000 gallons to 90,000 gallons to off set any shortages that may occur during the main fishing season, which is around the corner.

Representatives of the various fishing groups in and around Winneba, made the call during an interaction with the Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Mr Daniel Christian Dugan, at Winneba. The meeting was to find a lasting solution to the fuel supply problems facing fishermen in the country.

According to Neenyi Kweku Mbir, Chief Fisherman for the Effutu Traditional Area, the number of large canoes, which operated from Winneba during peak season, had raisin to about 500 hence the need for more fuel allocation.

The fishermen further called on the Ministry of Fisheries to collaborate to initiate acceptable terms of premix fuel distribution to ensure equal distribution to cocoa spraying gangs and fishermen to avoid diversion.

Participants at the meeting, which formed part of the Deputy Minister's tour of some fishing communities in the Western and the Central Regions, said studies had shown that the annual mass cocoa spraying exercises always coincided with the major fishing season, resulted in the diversion of the fuel.

Much as "we wholeheartedly support and cherish Government efforts at revamping the cocoa industry to improve the economy, we hope that conscious attempts would be made to improve the fuel supply system to sustain the fishing industry, for the good of the nation," Neenyi Kweku Mbir stated.

They appealed to the Ministry of Fisheries to intensify efforts to eradicate fishing with and the rampant violation of fishing laws by both foreign and local companies.

Mr Dugan cautioned the fishermen and fishing companies indulging in such nefarious activities to desist or face the full rigours of the law when caught.

He urged fishermen to form co-operatives to expose those who violated the fishing laws with impunity and said the Ministry would collaborate with district assemblies along the coast and the Volta Lake to take measures to transform the lives of fishermen and their families. Mr Dugan advised them to cultivating the habit of saving and loan repayment to qualify them for support packages from the financial institutions improve their businesses. 21 July 05

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