Fisheries Ministry looks for alternative livelihood for fishermen

FishermenMr Nayon Bilijo, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, has given the assurance that the Ministry is looking for alternative means of livelihood for those in the fishing sector.

He said the Ministry was aware that the diminishing marine resources had affected their income for which they needed alternative means to survive.

Mr Bilijo gave the assurance at Apam where he addressed fishermen as part of a familiarisation tour of fishing communities in the Central Region.

The Minister said the Ministry would make regular consultations with fishermen to know their problems to enable the Ministry to formulate appropriate policies to address them.

On the alleged inadequate of premixed fuel, he said, the Ministry was planning to re-organise the supply chain of the fuel and gave the assurance that that everything would be done to increase the allocation to the landing beaches.

He said the government had provided speed-boats to the Ghana Navy to enable them track pair-trawlers in the Ghanaian waters and cautioned fishermen to desist from using unapproved methods such as light-fishing, the use of chemicals and dynamites to fish.

During open forum, some fishermen suggested that the price of premixed fuel should be increased from the current price of 2.70 to 5.00 Ghana cedis a gallon to eliminate the malpractice resulting from its sales.

Others also appealed to government to reduce the cost of fishing gears in the country since the high cost of the inputs encouraged illegal fishing.

Mr Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah, Gomoa West District Chief Executive, appealed to fish-mongers whom the Gomoa West District Assembly guaranteed a loan for them from the Gomoa Rural Bank to pay back the loan to avoid the bank taking drastic action against them.

At Mumford, Mr Bilijo said the Ministry is working out plans to introduce fishermen to life insurance schemes to ensure a better future for them.

The fishermen appealed to government to provide them with a fishing harbour for which they had paid 10 pounds sterling to the government of the First Republic.

They also appealed to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government which promised them the harbour last year to ensure that the project takes of this year.

Mr Aidoo-Mensah said the harbour would be of a great benefit to the whole district when it came to fruition.

Source: GNA

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