Friends of the Nation (FoN), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has donated five smart phones for monitoring of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in communities in the Western Region.
The phones were given to community monitoring groups at Dixcove in the Ahanta-West Municipality.
The move follows strategic steps taken by FoN and its Far Ban Bo (Protecting Fisheries Livelihoods) project partners, Care International and Oxfam to stop IUU fishing and ensure increased marine fish stock.
The Project Officer of FoN, Mr. Philip Prah made the donation at a ceremony at Dixcove in the Western Region.
The Far Ban Bo project is being undertaken in four Regions of the country with funding from the European Union (EU) to among others ensure proper tracking and reporting of illegal fishing activities.
Mr. Prah explained that the phones were technically designed with special Applications to support the work of the IUU monitoring groups.
Mr. Prah said the Community Monitoring Groups have been taken through skills training on how to use the mobile Apps.
He charged the fishers not to use the smart phones for their personal gains but for reporting negative activities detected on the sea.
Nana Akwasi Agyemang IX, the Paramount Chief of Lower Dixcove Traditional area, who was represented by Nana Mensah Kumah III, the Gyasehene of Lower Dixcove Traditional Area, lauded the NGOs and the EU for the support.
He said the fish stock in the sea was gradually being depleted and entreated the monitoring group to eschew favouritism and selective Justice in its work.
He called on the FoN to educate fisherfolks in both Upper and Lower Dixcove on methods of proper fishing and to resource the IUU monitoring team with gadgets such as fishing gears.
The Chief Fisherman of Lower Dixcove, Nana Ebo Ansah thanked the NGOs for the gesture and charged the coordinators and the IUU team to use the smart phones for the intended purposes.