The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Madam Elizabeth Aforley-Quaye, says her outfit has rolled out a comprehensive road-map under its co-management policy to restore sanity in the fishing industry.
This she added would increase the fish stock in the sea to ensure a bumper harvest.
Under the policy, she said local fishermen, traditional rulers, fishing communities, enforcement units and the mass media would collaborate with the government to stem unwarranted fishing activities in the sea.
To this end, the government has instituted an award system under the West Africa Fisheries Project for fishermen, community members, traditional rulers, media houses, District Assemblies who are most responsible to stem the tide and restore sanity in the fishing industry.
Madam Aforley-Quaye was addressing a forum for fishermen at a visibility durbar to mark the launch of the annual Kuntum festival of the Chiefs and people of Ahanta West Municipality at Dixcove in the Western Region.
The theme for this year’s Kuntum festival is: ‘Empowering Communities for Effective Fisheries Co-Management: The Role of Traditional Leaders’.
“Far Ban Bo” meaning, Protecting Fisheries Livelihoods, is a -four-year European Union funded fisheries governance project, which is being implemented by a consortium of NGOs: Care International Ghana, the lead, Friends of the Nation(FoN) and Oxfam.
Madam Aforley-Quaye tasked Chief fishermen to be pro-active to ensure that fishermen respected the marine laws and made illegal fishing unattractive.
She said President Nana Akufo Addo would continue to wage the war on illegal fishing just like the galamsey menace which were yielding dividends.
The Minister declared government’s readiness to give the fishing industry a boost and would ensure that the supply of pre-mix fuel production which has dwindled from 38 tanks to 17 tanks a day due to operational mishaps at the Tema Oil Refinery(TOR),would be addressed and make fuel available to fishermen.
She reminded the fishing communities that the closed season would strictly be in force next year as part of efforts to increase the fish stock in the sea.
A Deputy Minister for Fisheries and AquaCulture, Mr Ato Cudjoe announced that the government had earmarked funds to purchase outboard motors for fishermen in the country by December 2018 and appealed to fishing communities to keep the beaches clean to promote domestic and international tourism.
Project Coordinator of Care International, Mr Kwame Mensah said the forum was a platform for fishing communities to be abreast with pertinent issues affecting their livelihoods and entreated all stakeholders especially the media to get on board to manage fishing resources for sustainable fisheries
The Chief of Dixcove,Nana Kwesi Agyeman IX noted that fish stock in Ghana’s waters was fast depleting, but neighbouring Cote D’Ivoire reeled in bumper harvest thereby forcing most indigenes from the area to travel to that country for fishing expeditions and called for measures to revive the fishing activities.
Nana Kwame Asemko, Chief fisherman of Dixcove appealed to the government to supply the required fishing net for fishermen to purchase and make fish from the sea undergo test before it was sold to the public.