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We need a marine bank – Tema fisher folks appeal to government

Fisher folks at the Tema Canoe Beach have appealed to government to establish a marine bank in the country to provide the needed financial support to the fishing sector.

Nii Odametey, Tema Awudum Chief Fisherman, explained that if the country has a bank totally dedicated to the marine sector, fisher folks would access soft loans to expand the businesses and also cushion them during the closed season.

On the close season, he said leadership of the Tema canoe beach ensured that all fishing activities among canoe operators stopped at about 12:00 hours on May 17 in compliance with the ban as they would use the period to mend their nets and canoes.

He however added that the closed season would bring a lot of hardship on the fisher folks and their dependents as according to him, they would be cash strapped during the period and would not be able to meet obligations at home.

Nii Odametey said it is unfortunate that the ADB Bank has neglected the fisher folks and concentrating only on the crops and animal husbandry sector, a situation which calls for the establishment of a specialized bank for the fishing sector.

He indicated that other countries have marine banks and it is about time Ghana gets its own to cater for everyone who work in the sector including fish mongers, fishermen, and vessel owners.

The chief fisherman noted that such a bank could initiate some pension and insurance schemes for the sector to mitigate hardship during retirement, sickness and even educating of their children.

Meanwhile, the GNA observed that the fishermen at the canoe beach were complying with ban as their canoes had berthed at the basin.

While some sat idle, chatting among themselves, others mended their canoes and nets as the closure of the sea to fishing activities entered day three on Friday.

Some of the fishermen even though complying with ban, expressed their unhappiness about the exercise, alleging that Chinese trawlers were fishing while they were being prevented their own government to do so.

They wondered how they would survive the one month temporal unemployment as they had a lot of responsibilities to meet including housekeeping, paying of school fees, feeding and extra classes’ fees for their children and younger siblings.

Other fishmongers also expressed their displeasure at being idle due to the close season, as it saps their masculinity.

Source: GNA

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