Food and Agric Ministry launches new regulations for fishing industry
The first ever Fisheries Regulations, 2010 (L.I. 1968), to provide interpretation of technical expressions associated with the fishing industry and enable operators learn and appreciate their meanings for compliance, was launched in Accra on Friday.
The new regulations, would in addition set clear parameters for the regulator to regulate and manage the industry on a more sustainable basis and for operators to appreciate their obligations, rights and responsibilities for a successful management of the industry for the country’s socio-economic development.
Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), launched the regulations and said an interpretation section had been added to explain the several scientific and technical words used in the Regulations for easy understanding and compliance by stakeholders.
He explained that though there was an Act, it had some difficulties encountered by managers and regulators of Fisheries since 2002 when the Fisheries Act 625 was promulgated by Parliament.
Some of the challenges were inadequate specification of required procedures for the acquisition of licenses and permits for fishery activities, inadequate sanctions against offenders, inadequate documentation of the meaning of technical language in fisheries, non detailed specification of legal and illegal practices in the capture fisheries and aquaculture and non detailed specification of responsibilities of vessel operators in the marine environment.
The new regulations would cover fishery and fishing vessels, fishing nets, fishing devices and fishing, fishing equipment, fishing license, compliance measures, monitoring mechanisms and aquaculture.
Mr. Ahwoi noted that efforts would be made to translate the Regulations into the main Ghanaian languages for the understanding of the wide section of the population in the fishing industry.
“Ignorance they say is not an excuse before the law therefore anybody who violates the law would face the full rigours of the law”, he added.
The Sector Minister said the Ghana Navy and the Police as well as other law enforcing agencies had been empowered to arrest and prosecute any offender to serve as a deterrent to others.
Mr. Mike Akyeampong, Chairman of Fisheries Commission outlined the numerous contributions made by the fisheries sector and commended government for the legislative instrument that would serve as a guide to regulate and manage the development of the industry.
He noted that the new Regulations were in tune with modern trends and urged stakeholders in the fishing industry to be abreast of the regulations and abide by them.