Ministry of Food and Agriculture launches fish festival

FisheriesThe Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, has launched the Greater Accra Fish Festival to celebrate the efforts of fishermen and fish processors.

Madam Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, who launched the festival, said the event would be held on October 20 at Prampram.

The theme for the celebration is: “Promoting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for national development.”

Madam Ayittey stated that the fish festival was the government’s way of recognising the role of the fisheries sector to national development.

“Fishing is a very challenging endeavour and therefore the need to celebrate the work of fishers in the same way as other occupations is celebrated in Ghana,” she noted.

She added that the fisheries industry contributes significantly to the national economy, employing directly and along its value chain, an estimated 10 per cent of the population.

She said Ghana is known as amongst the highest consumers of fish globally of about 20 kilogramme per capital.

The sector Minister indicated that in 2014, the Ministry’s local production of fish was 413,077 metric tons representing 38 per cent of estimated annual fish requirement of 1,088,749 metric tons.

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Chairman of the Fish Festival Planning Committee, and Member of Parliament for the Ningo-Prampram, said the festival was in response to the unhappiness of fishermen about the prominence of awarding farmers over them.

Mr Mensah said most of the time, those in the fisheries sector were not happy for receiving cutlass, hoes, and other farming implements as their reward for excelling in their activities.

He said the festival would be extended to other regions after the Greater Accra celebration.

He pleaded with chief fishermen and other stakeholders to desist from pleading for leniency for those engaged in illegal fishing.

Mr Mensah also asked the fishermen must not use the general election as a threat to authority to release such miscreants.

Nii Adjei Kraku II, Paramount Chief of Tema, who chaired the launch, thanked the Ministry for the initiative to reward the efforts of the fisher folks.

Nii Kraku also reiterated the need for observance of legal fishing practices to replenish the fish stock.

He advised fisher folks to be united and serve as ambassadors and watchdogs for such best practices.

He also encouraged them to save and enroll their children in school to ensure that poverty ends among them.

Source: GNA

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