He said the situation needs urgent attention, as research shows that, Ghana is not meeting even 50 percent of her domestic fish requirement, while this is worsened severely by over fishing of the fish stocks.
Mr Sabah noted that, as fish forms part of the intake of many homes in Ghana, stakeholders like fishermen, boat builders, traders, ice/net sellers among others, must come together and formulate measures, to ensure that there is adequate fish on the market.
“Almost all the common species are in danger of depletion beyond recovery, if nothing seriously is done to avert the situation”, he warned.
The Western Regional Fisheries Director made the call, at an emergency meeting with fishermen in the region. He was accompanied by the Deputy Minister in charge of Fisheries, Nii Amasa Namoale, at Sekondi.
He said “Tuna is the only safe stock in our waters at the moment”, regretting that over the past ten years, many fishermen have made heavy investment, in terms of buying canoes, nets, premix fuel and other fishing gear, but most of them are not making any profits, as they return from fishing with low catches.
“This mainly, is due to over fishing”, he said, and attributed this to the use of explosives, small size nets and harvesting of fingerlings, and warned against the bad practice, to help restore the stock.
Mr Sabah said the low catch is not due to spiritual powers, but rather, they should find a solution to the situation.
On their part, the fishermen claimed the discovery of oil, off the coast of Cape Three Points, in the Western Region, has brought untold hardship to them, as they are being restricted by law to fish about 500 meters away from the FSPO, at the Jubilee Fields.
The also complained about the ban of lighting for fishing, which they say had compounded their plight, because they believe other fishermen continue with the practice, aside of not being given due recognition by government, as accorded crop farmers.
To alleviate their plight, the fishermen appealed to government for compensation, to enable them to continue their work.
The Deputy Fisheries Minister warned that the ban on illegal fishing was strictly in force, as the security agencies have been empowered to arrest those, who contravene the laws.
He however, said as the Security, especially the Navy, cannot patrol the whole sea, fishermen must also gather the courage to report those, who still use illegal methods for fishing.
On the complain of not getting the necessary attention, Nii Amasa Namoale debunked the notion and encouraged fishermen to market themselves, by engaging in media discussions on fishing, in addition to holding forums with the public.
He advised them to register their canoes to enable the Fisheries Sector to keep record of canoes in the system, as this would help identify each boat, especially when it is in danger.
The Deputy Fisheries Minister entreated fishermen to endeavour to pay for the subsidised outboard motors sold to them by the government, to enable others to benefit.