The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has vowed to crack down on illegalities on the Volta Lake.
Koomson said that illegal activities by fishermen on the lake threaten the security of the lake and need to be stopped. She lamented the use of bamboo and other chemicals by fishermen.
“The illegalities in the Volta Lake are more serious than those of the marine [sea]. They also use chemicals, bamboo and other things. A lot of things are going on. It’s a problem, so I have to take the matter to the cabinet, and also the parliamentary committee on fisheries. For us to discuss, because those on the inland [freshwater], think they are untouchable, they think they are not part of regulations.
“And so whatever we are doing, they are not part. But we also have to go after them and let them know that the right thing must be done. Because if the fish in the freshwater is also depleted, what do we do? What do we live on? We don’t close them but, we will try to do it,” she emphasized.
Koomson said that there are some recalcitrant fishermen who need to be flushed out, but that there has been 90% to 93% compliance during closed seasons.
She debunked claims that prices of fish become expensive during the closed season, saying that the government has put in place measures to ensure there is no shortage of fish in the country during that period.
“Even when they go fishing, we still import because the fish is not sufficient, we bridge the gap of demand and supply by introducing aquaculture to complement the fishing industry,” the Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister underscored.