The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ade Coker, has called on the government to rescind its decision to implement a one-month ban on fishing.
The government announced in June 2018 that there will be a ban on all fishing activities in the month of August but the reason for the ban was not clearly stated.
[contextly_sidebar id=”GZsL2Auva0iXFwSC8y0xSAPupxtVf8GM”]However, earlier hints of the ban indicated that such an act would help in the regeneration of fish stock in Ghana’s fishing waters.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily show, the politician was worried about the fisherfolk who solely depend on fishing to make ends meet.
“You want to reserve or preserve the fingerlings, but don’t you know that they swim from here to Togo. Look, what is happening is that we’ve got some pair trawlers on the high seas and they are the cause; not those small fishermen who have got some tiny boats and they’re fishing. Go up there; go and see what is happening on the high seas, the Chinese, the Malaysians. You’re not doing anything about them and then you want to harass the fishermen?” he said.
According to him, the ban will yield no results since the root cause will not be the least affected.
“I’ve never heard anybody telling us that people should stop fishing in the sea and they put a ban on fishing in the sea. I’m surprised! Because the fish don’t stay at one place; they keep swimming. So how are you going to ensure that they stay at one place for their growth? What is the scientific basis for what they are doing? The major problem is those big ships that have got huge nets and are destroying the fishing industry.”
Fisherfolk bave protested against the ban through skme demonstrations across the country. They have warned that the ban will affect their livelihood, and have suggested a postponement to 2019.
But government has insisted on the ban, and has announced a compensation package for the fisherfolk during the period.
Government places ban on tilapia importation
Meanwhile, the government has placed a six-month ban on the importation of all ornamental fishes and tilapia species; a move directed at tackling the emerging tilapia lake virus.
“The attention of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) has been drawn to the fact that cases have been reported across Africa, Asia and South America that the virus represents a huge risk to the global tilapia industry,” the ministry said in a statement.
Gov’t to compensate fisher-folk
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has however outlined a package for fisher-folk who will be affected by the ban.
This was after the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council threatened to sue the Ministry over plans to ban fishing activities.
According to Sector Minister, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, a portion of profits realized from the sale of premix fuel has been set aside for distribution to fisher-folk to lessen the severity of the economic impact from the expected ban.
By: Akosua Ofewaa Opoku/citinewsroom.com/Ghana