Judges, prosecutors equipped to enforce Fisheries Law

Ms Sherry Ayittey (standing) addressing the Participants. Photo Daniel Amoo.,,,,Thirty-five judges, magistrates and State Attorneys in the southern sector have attended a three-day training workshop on Fisheries Management and Enforcement of the Laws, in the fishing industry.

It was organised by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD), with the aim of sharpening the skills of the participants, to be abreast with the laws governing the industry.

It was to equip them in enforcing the Fisheries Commission’s mandate under the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625), to manage and regulate the exploitation of the Fishery resources in Ghana sustainably.

Addressing the participants, Ms. Sherry Ayittey, the Sector Minister,  said, many of the citizenry were involved one way or the other in fishing and, therefore, the onus was on the Ministry to ensure that the resources in both the marine and freshwater sources were protected.

The Ministry is now in collaboration with other relevant institutions such as the Ghana Navy, Marine Police, Police, Ghana Air Force, the Attorney General’s Department, National Security, Ghana Marine Authority, Customs Division and the Food and Drugs Authority to work effectively in managing the fisheries resources, which are declining recently.”

Ms. Ayittey said fish crime was now considered among transnational crimes by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime because of its proven links to other crimes such as drugs, human trafficking, gun-running, money laundering, privacy, armed robbery and illegal migration.

According to her, “crime stems from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing ((IUU) where internationally organised criminal gangs pillage fishery resources of countries which lack the capacity for the monitoring, control and surveillance of their coastal waters.”

She said, IUU fishing had been characterised as one of the most severe problems affecting world fisheries, and the main obstacle in achieving sustainable fisheries in both areas under national jurisdiction and the high seas adding that Ghana was no exception.

The Minister said, the global community was still grappling with how to estimate the true cost of IUU fishing and, therefore, the workshop was necessary for all institutions to bring their competence on board, because Fisheries had implications on food security, national security and international trade and navigation.

By Daniel Amoo       





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