‘Empower chief fishermen to check indiscipline’

Executive Members of the Canoe Fishermen Association at Axim have stated that leaders of the association across the country were capable of eliminating illegalities practised by fishermen in order to promote the fisheries sector.

They, therefore, urged the government to re-empower chief fishermen and their executives to take charge of affairs as it was previously practised, since the present intervention by government was not succeeding.

A Ghana News Agency (GNA) report said the fishermen made the call when journalists embarked on a field trip to the Axim landing sites, as part of a two-day outreach workshop on the promotion of the fisheries sector.

The workshop which was organised by the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP), aimed at finding solution to Ghana’s fisheries which is near collapse.

It is in an attempt to hype the national call for action towards restoring the fisheries for improved food security.

Spokespersons for the association, Nana Kojo Pegu and Mr. Michael Nokoe, noted that previously chief fishermen had powers to discipline fishermen who flouted the fisheries laws with impunity.

They regretted that currently things were rather falling apart leading to the low production of fish, attributing this to poor enforcement of the law.

They mentioned some of the bad practices by the fishermen at sea as illegal trade of fish known as “Saiko,” unapproved fishing gears, the use of light and chemicals for fishing, which tend to deplete the stock, as well as the allocation of premix fuel which according to them was not transparent.

They decried the practice where politicians often intervened for the release of fishermen and their gear when they were arrested by naval personnel.

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