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Government apologizes for brutalities during seizure of illegal fishing nets

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The Metropolitan Chief Executive for Sekondi-Takoradi, Captain (rtd) Anthony Cudjoe, has decried the excessive force used by the fisheries security taskforce to seize illegal nets recently.

He apologized to the fishermen who suffered various brutalities and intimidation during the exercise saying the fisheries taskforce should have added “a human-face” to the operations.

Captain Cudjoe offered the apology during the replacement of monofilament nets with multifilament nets of some fishermen whose nets were seized at Ngyerisia in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis on Thursday.

“We really regret the brutalities and intimidation by the taskforce and we pledge that it will not happen again. Those whose nets were seized should go to the Fisheries Department for identification and replacement”, he added.

The replacement exercise has become necessary following the seizure of quantities of monofilament nets by the fisheries security taskforce in some coastal communities in the country recently.

A fisheries technologist at the Fisheries Commission, Mr. George Nii Quaye, said the replacement of the illegal nets with the approved ones has become necessary to protect the fish stock from total depletion and destruction.

He cautioned the fisher folks to desist from using the disbanded monofilament nets and other explosives since it is destroying certain productive fishing species.

Mr. Quaye observed that the illegal nets had resulted in the near extinction of some delicious fish species such as cassava fish, sole fish, guitarfish and the Thread finne.

The fisheires technologist stressed that under-sized nets mostly entangles the fingerlings and kill them prematurely.

Mr. Quaye said 85 fishermen’s nets were seized in the Region, 28 of them had been identified, and they would be replaced.

He said the new multifilament nets imported from South Korea are suitable for the “artisan” fishing industry that would promote the sustenance of the fish stock.

Mr. Quaye said the replacement exercise which started in the Central Region would be done in all the coastal communities in the country.

He appealed to the fisher folks to cooperate with them to ensure a successful exercise adding, it is in the best interest of the county and the artisan fishermen to use the approved nets.

Source: GNA

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