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26.03.2004 General News

Navy to arrest fishermen doing light fishing

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Tema, March 26, GNA- Mr Edward Akita, Minister of State in-charge of Fisheries on Thursday reminded fishermen that, the ban on light fishing is still in force and any one who flouts it will be made to face the law. To this end, the Ghana Navy and other security agencies have been mandated to arrest and deal with fishermen who contravene the regulation on the ban on light fishing in the country.

He gave the reminder in a speech read for him at a forum held by the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement (CSRM) a non-governmental organisation for fisher folks along the Accra-Tema coast at Tema Manhean.

He stressed that, " the stand of the Ministry is that light fishing remains banned in Ghanaian waters until better and newer evidence become available to us that could suggest the contrary".

The trawlers are known for practicing light fishing, which normally destroys the small fishes while it drives more fishes into deep sea thus depriving the canoe fishermen from getting fish to catch.

According to him the scientists of the Directorate of Fisheries are working to give the necessary data and information on light fishing and hoped very soon the problem of fishing with light attraction would be a thing of the past.

He stated that when fisheries resources are best managed through co-management arrangement with government and practitioners playing complementary roles, it is their collective responsibility to ensure sustainable exploitation of the fishery resources in Ghana.

Mr Akita however, warned that we are not prepared to condone indiscipline in the fishing industry and pledged the Ministry's preparedness to assist anyone desiring to go into the fishing industry. The MP for the area, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, said because there were no law on fisheries, fishermen have been using all sort of methods of fishing on the sea.

He advised fishermen not to take the law into their own hands because, offenders in the fishing industries would be punished when caught and expressed the hope that everything could be done by the government to protect the fishing industry.

The President of CSRM, Mr Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio explained that the forum was part of measures to find lasting solutions to some of the problems in the industry.