Fishermen in the Central Region have made an appeal to the government to ensure that illegal transhipment of fishing activities on the sea were checked and seriously dealt with.
According to them, the illegalities by some individuals, mostly foreigners were collapsing the local business and making it difficult for them to keep their livelihoods.
The fishermen shared these sentiments to members of the Journalists for Responsible Fisheries and Environment (JRFE) when they went on a field trip to some beaches at Moree and Elmina to find more about problems facing the fisher folks and how to enhance their fishing activities as part of the World Ocean Day.
This year’s World Ocean Day was celebrated on the global on the theme:
“Preventing Plastic Pollution and Providing Solution for a Healthy Ocean”, with the local theme: “Saving the Ocean, our Collective Responsibility”.
It was supported by the Earth Journalism Network (EJN).
The fishermen stressed the need to replenish the declining fishery stocks and there was the need for urgent pragmatic steps particularly by government and its agencies to curb these activities.
They said if care was not taken and efforts to enforce laws meant to check these illegalities including light and chemical fishing were not expedited, replenishing fishery stocks would not be successful.
“If we want to be successful at replenishing the stocks, enforcement agencies must work harder to check, especially activities of trawlers who destroy the nets of the fishermen”, Kojo Preh a fisherman at Moree stated.
He explained that illegal transhipment of fish called “saiko” was another major problem facing the fishing communities.
He said government must work hard to ensure the enforcement of laws and help the fishing trade from collapsing.
Nana Mensah Bonsu, Chief Fisherman of Moree and the Secretary to the Central Regional branch of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council, called on his colleague fishermen to shun away from negative practices such as light fishing and using chemicals that affected the sea.
He appealed to the district assemblies to enact laws that would check the indiscriminate sand wining along the beaches.
Nana Bonsu further called for the construction of landing beaches to ensure safe landing for fishermen saying, the lack of a properly constructed landing bay was negatively impacting on fishing activities in the area.
Mr Nii Amarh, another fisherman from Elmina urged the government to show more commitment in working to stop the illegalities on the sea to save the sea’s resources from total collapse.
“Actions from government must show us that they are serious about saving our oceans,” he added.
Mr Kinsley Nana Boadu, Executive Director of JRFE called for the establishment of a plastic recycling plant in each of the 10 regions of the country to help reduce the plastic danger.