The Fisheries Commission of Ghana has condemned the use of unorthodox fishing methods by some fisherfolk in the Central Region.
The Commission says the use of dynamites, DDT, light among others is a contributory factor to the dwindling fish stock in the sea.
Speaking to Citi News at the commissioning of two new modern fish smoking centres in Senya Bereku and Winneba, Executive Director for the Commission, Michael Arthur Dadzie stated that the use of unapproved methods in fishing will cause more harm to that industry in the long run.
He called on stakeholders to work together to stop the practice of illegal fishing methods.
“The use of dynamite, lights, and other unapproved methods. In fact, our stocks are dwindling, it is a collective responsibility of the government, the fisherfolk, Civil Society Organisations, the media, and everybody must be involved so that we may be able to resolve the problems that are affecting the fishing community.”
Executive Director for the Commission also encouraged fish processors not to patronise fish caught through illegal means to discourage persons from engaging in the act.
“If you patronise fish caught through illegal means, you are encouraging the people to continue to engage in them. But if they bring the fish, and you don’t patronise, they will resist the attempt of even engaging in that activity. So we are imploring our fish processors to follow the laws and not patronise fish that is caught illegally or through unapproved methods.”
Impact of illegal fishing
Researchers have said that illegal fishing by foreign trawlers is decimating Ghana’s fish populations and costing the country’s economy tens of millions of dollars a year.
An investigation published by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) claims that “saiko” fishing landed approximately 100,000 tonnes of fish in 2017, worth $50m (£40m) when sold at sea and up to $81m when sold at the port.
The practice is precipitating the collapse of Ghana’s staple fish stock – small pelagic fish such as sardinella, a crucial protein in the local diet.