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Fishermen angry with aspects of new Fisheries Law

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The Canoe Owners Association (COA) has urged the government to review the provision in the Fisheries Act which criminalises the use of light for fishing.

It said the government should approve the use of 1ight as a new technology for fishing, instead of criminalising it as a practice which depleted fingerlings.

At a press conference at the Albert Bosumtwi-Sam Fishing Harbour in Sekondi, the Secretary of COA, Mr Joe Eshun, said the clam­pdown on fishermen who use lightto fish was collapsing the businesses of small-scale fishermen.

“To us, what is destroying the sea is actually the pair and single trawlers which sweep the sea bed with their nets and select what they want and trade the rest at sea,” he said.

Mr Eshun said using light for fishing did not involve the applica­tion of chemicals or use of any pro­hibited fishing methods that could endanger the country’s fish stock.

“If possible, the authorities should set a time for us to use the light and after that period we stop. At the moment, we are in debt to individual lenders, as well as the banks,” he said.

He added that there were many acts of illegal fishing in the country but the law enforcement agencies only focused on the use of light for fishing.

When contacted, the Western Regional Director the National Fisheries Commission, Mr Alex Sabah, said he had received the complaint of the fishing community and indicated that his outfit was doing everything possible to ensure that their interest was protected.

He said the government outlawed the use of light for fishing in order to prevent fishermen from destroying fingerlings, and allow them to reproduce.

Source: Daily Graphic

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