Ensure compliance of laws, fishermen urged

Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Fisheries and Aqua-Culture, has said government has initiated an alternative livelihood programme to help fisherfolks during off-fishing seasons.

She said the policy would involve the fishing industry chain operators to ensure compliance with the various laws of the country.

Ms Ayittey said this during a forum with some fisherfolks at Keta.

She said the chief fishermen should work with their members to tackle compatriots engaged in the unauthorized fishing methods including light fishing, use of explosives and inappropriate nets.

She said government would introduce alternative livelihood programmes so that during the off-fishing season, “you could allow the sea to rest as you harvest tilapia, shrimps and oysters”.

Ms Ashittey said the 2016 fishing festival had been scheduled for the Volta region and those who engaged in the best practices will be honoured.

The Minister also announced that out of the six landing beaches scheduled to be constructed beginning 2016, three will be sited at Anloga, Tapa-Abotoase and Tongor-Dzemeni in the Volta Region.

She said these multiplexes will include cold storage rooms, clinics in some cases, fish smoking slots and care centres.

Ms Ayittey said a revolving credit system was also being arranged to enable operators secure cash or needed material and pay back at scheduled time.

She urged the fishing community members who have boats and needed outboard motors to register with the appropriate authorities to benefit from a Presidential Outboard Motors supply programme.

Mrs Joyce Acheampong, Office Manager Pre-Mix Administration, assured the fishing communities that the supply problem had been tackled and that pre-mix fuel will soon be available.

She said the membership of the pre-mix administration committees at the various areas was being reviewed with chief fishermen as heads.

Francis Akorlor, Volta Regional Director of Fisheries said it was important juvenile fish were protected and warned fishermen against sending pre-mix fuel across the borders for sale.

Captain Emmanuel Kwafo, Head of Fisheries Enforcement Unit, said community sensitizations on the regulations were currently underway after which, there will clampdowns on the law breakers.

Concerns raised by fishermen were mainly on pre-mix fuel and its administration.

Under the arrangement the local committees are expected to use profits from sale of pre-mix fuels to provide certain communal facilities such as sheds.SHIRLY

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