Let us end illegalities of destroying Ghana’s pelagic fish stock
Mr Israel Nii Adjei Brown, the Director of Research at Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), has urged fishers to desist from engaging in and end all forms of illegal fishing that could collapse the industry.
“Gone were the days when fishers experienced bumper harvest between July and August, unfortunately, the situation is not the same now due to the illegalities on the country’s marine waters ”.
Mr. Brown expressed the concerns at the Regional Regatta competition organised at Winneba as part of the 7th meeting of Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture, scheduled to take place in Accra, from Tuesday, April 05 to Friday, 08 this year.
The event was organized by the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC) and the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) with funding from the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).
The Regatta was between five artisanal fisher groups, and won by God is good, followed by Isaiah, Star 2, Agege Boys number 2 and Morocco in that respective order and was awarded with cash prizes after the competition.
The Director called on artisanal fishers to comply with the closed season to help replenish the fish stock, adding that artisanal fishers play key role in Ghana’s economy and food value chain.
“Ghana’s fisheries resources are over-exploited and a number of management measures are being rolled out to ensure recovery of fish stocks” he added.
Mr Brown told the gathering that there was an ongoing national campaign against illegal and unregulated fishing practices such as transhipment at sea, popularly called “Saiko” and it needed the collaboration of all stakeholders to reduce the canker to the barest minimum.
For his part, Neenyi Kow Bowie II, the Gyaasehen of Woarabeba, a surburb of Winneba called for unity among the residents to help develop the area since their major employment was fishing.
“A lot can be achieved if the major Asafo companies come together and work towards a common goal” he advised.
The OACPS meeting provides an opportunity for ministers, policy makers, professionals, and practitioners from different blocks (African, Caribbean and Pacific) to exchange ideas, knowledge, experiences, policies, and best practices for improved fishing sector.