The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) on Thursday distributed fish finders and accessories to forty-five fishermen in and around the Cape Coast Metropolis.
The beneficiaries were drawn mainly from the Ayamboboye, Duakor and Abakam landing sites in the Cape Coast North Constituency with a few others from Ola and other sites in the Cape Coast South Constituency.
Additionally they were also taken through a two-day training on how to effectively use the devices.
The distribution was part of the ICT for Sustainable Fishing Project, a nationwide campaign by GIFEC, the Fisheries Commission and the National Canoe Fishermen Council, to encourage the use of technology in locating shoals of fish and harvesting only the matured ones.
The project is aimed at reducing the cost of fishing and mitigating the depleting fish stock in Ghana’s territorial waters by reducing the harvest of fingerlings and the use of unorthodox fishing methods such as light, explosives and chemicals and undersized nets.
Mr Kobby Owusu Acheampong, Head of GIFEC, and an aspiring candidate for the ruling National Democratic Congress in the Cape Coast North Constituency, urged the beneficiaries to take good care of the finders and the accessories.
Mr Michael Agyei Takyi, Principal Programmes Manager of GIFEC, expressed the hope that the devices would help the fishermen reduce the amount of fuel for their fishing expeditions since they would no longer roam the seas in search of fish.
Since its inception, four years ago, about 210 fishermen from 18 landing sites including Elmina, Moree and Cape Coast have benefitted while all landing sites are expected to benefit by the end of next year, Mr Takyi said.
He said the next phase of the project which involves the distribution of communication systems to help the fishermen communicate with their folks on shore whenever went on expedition would begin in 2016.
Mr Etsey Edekor, Chief Fisherman of Duakor, expressed gratitude to GIFEC and Mr Acheampong for the initiative saying the devices would facilitate and improve their work especially at a time when the fish stock was depleting.