Law For Landing Beaches Soon

beachOPERATIONS of all the 320 landing beaches along the country’s coast will be streamlined to make them more functional under a National Co-operative Authority.

Already, the Attorney-General is working on a draft, and when completed   and passed to become a Legislative Instrument (LI), will give legal backing to the functions, office holders and operations of the Landing Beach Committees.

Besides, the LI seeks to ensure that only fishermen operate the landing beach committees at various beaches.

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ms. Sherry Ayittey, disclosed these at a meeting with members of the Co-operative Fishermen Service Centres in the Western Region, at the weekend.

She said copies of the law, when passed, would be made available to all sites, spelling out the modalities of the committees explaining that their accounts would also be audited.

The LI, she said, would also prevent people such as pensioners from managing the sites.

“If you are not a fisherman and you have no canoe, how do you handle premix?,” she asked.

Explaining further, Ms. Ayittey said the ministry, in collaboration with the Navy, would be going round   the beaches, to register all canoes and appealed to those who had not yet registered their gears to do so.

On the premix, she said, distribution of the product would no more be done in peoples’ bedrooms stressing, the days of protocol were over.

The minister said, all tankers would be fitted with tracking devices to ensure that premix reaching designated landing beaches were monitored, “We will monitor you and if you divert the product we will know,” she said.

“Premix is subsidised and we want   the product to go to the right places for the growth and sustenance of the fishing industry.”

On fishing gears, Ms Ayittey said 800 outboard motors would be purchased by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) for distribution to the members adding that, more needed to be imported to bring the total to about 15,000, under a Public- Private Partnership (PPP) project.

“No protocol would be entertained; and we will not sell them to anyone without a boat. We want to ensure that the gears go to the right people so that they do not end   up in foreign countries to be sold at higher prices to the detriment of the industry and economy and your livelihood. This must stop”.

She continued: “You should all register and be members for equal distribution. If you don’t register, you will not get the inputs and we will supervise that exercise.”

She appealed to those who owed from the previous sales to pay up.

On the women front, she said, a National Women Fish Smokers   Co-operative would soon be formed to provide some assistance to members to improve their work and welfare and believed that, by next month, the structures would be in place.

“Fishing activities affect food security, fish stock improves the economy and our welfare, and we are doing all that we can to achieve these objectives,” Ms Ayittey said.

The president of the Co-operative Fishermen Service Centres in the Western Region,Nana Kwesi Bin, said though the fishing season had begun, the fisher-folks lacked the needed inputs and services, and mentioned the irregular supply of premix, outboard motors and nets as some of the problems.

From Clement
Adzei Boye, Sekondi

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