Min. plans pension for fisherfolk

Ms Ayittey(fourth from left) in a group photograph with the chief fishermen. With her are officals from the Ministry.

Ms Ayittey (sixth from left) in a group photograph with the chief fishermen. With her are officials from the ministry.

The Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Development will from early next year, start providing insurance and pension to the fishermen and fish processors after the launch of the scheme at the close of this year.

The ministry will also set up a revolving fund to sustain the scheme.

Ms Sherry Ayittey, minister of the sector, announced these at a day’s stakeholders meeting here with chief fishermen, fishermen and fish processors drawn from Gomoa East and West, Ekumfi and Effutu districts all in the central region.

The meeting was to interact with stakeholders and have direct contact with them to have firsthand knowledge of their challenges and worries.

It also aimed at sensitising them to the policies and the laws of the industry in order for them to be law abiding as far as the fishing industry is concerned.

Ms Ayittey explained that the scheme and the fund to be set up would help boost the fishermen’s confidence in doing their work and help them recover loses incurred during their fishing expeditions.

She said the funds would also be used as credit for training fish processors and provide them with equipment or facilities such as wire gauges, nets and wood for smoking their fishes.

The minister said the pension scheme would be given to the fishermen after their toil over the years and whilst on pension in order to settle them to prevent them from becoming paupers.

Ms Ayittey announced that her outfit would soon inaugurate six landing sites in some districts to ease the activities of fishermen and fish processors in the country.

The ministry, she said, initially selected 25 landing sites or beaches, but due to financial constraints could in the interim inaugurate only six by the end of this year and by the end of 2016, 14 more would be inaugurated.

She said the World Bank had released eight million dollars to support the establishment of the six landing beaches at Mumford, James Town, Teshie, Anloga, Tepa Abotaase and Dzemeni.

She said a fish processing factory would also be established at Elmina while the Nyanyano cold store would be handed over to the fishermen this year for full operations to begin.

Touching on the illegal activities on the sea, the minister warned fishermen against the use of carbides, dynamites, petrolling and light fishing and appealed to the chief fishermen to assist the ministry and the marine taskforce to arrest and prosecute offenders.

On the distribution of the premix fuel in the communities, Ms Ayittey asked chief fishermen to be faithful in the distribution of the product and promised that where the quantity was seriously inadequate, she would ensure increased supply.

“At the landing beach committees, I expect that the fish processor who are mostly women to be added to the committees formed to enable them to be part of the decision making, in the running of the affairs in the area,” she advised.

From Daniel Amoo, Winneba 


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