The Western Regional Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC), has described as untrue, media reports that fishermen are using formalin, a chemical used in the preservation of corpses for their activities.
At a news conference in Takoradi, Mr Joseph Ebambey, Regional Secretary of the GNCFC, said the Council’s investigations have revealed that fishermen in the Region are not using formalin to preserve fish.
“Formalin is not just expensive but scarce and cannot be obtained without a medical permit,” he said.
He however admitted that some fishermen have adopted the use of harmful substances and other illegal methods for fishing in contradiction of the fisheries laws.
These practices include the use of carbide, dynamite and other explosives as well as small mesh size nets and light aggregation.
He said: “These methods are harmful to fisheries ecology and human health. We do not support their use.”
Mr Ebambey called on the government and regulatory agencies to ensure strict enforcement of fisheries laws.
He urged the government to support the importation of fishing gears in order to put a stop to the use of illegal gears including monofilament nets.
Mr Ebambey commended the government for re-establishing the Marine Unit of the Ghana Police Service and assured the personnel of the cooperation of fishermen.
He however asked the unit to be transparent in its work.
He called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies to set up management committees for the effective management of fisheries and coastal resources.
The news conference was organised at the end of a stakeholders meeting by the Regional GNCFC, Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association, Ghana Trawlers Association and Fishmongers Association.