Three fishermen have been arrested by the Marine Police of the Ghana Police Service and the Fisheries Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Fisheries for allegedly engaging in illegal fishing.
The three were arrested in a canoe loaded with about 250 parcels of iced fish which were allegedly caught through the use of illegal fishing practice known as ‘Saiko’ at Apam in the Central Region.
The ‘saiko’ practice is where trawlers stay put on the sea, catch fish meant for small-scale fishers and then sell them to canoe fishermen at sea.
There has also been widespread condemnation concerning the use of ‘under-sized’ nets for ‘saiko’ fishing which has contributed significantly to the depletion of fish stock in the country’s waters.
The decline in fish stock has also been blamed on illicit fishing activities such as the use of light and dynamite to harvest and the use of monofilament net which traps fingerlings.
Experts say if such unsustainable fishing practices continue, the country could be out of fish in the next decade.
Speaking to journalists, a member of the Marine Police Unit, Corporal Agyemang Opambour explained that two security men and the owner of a canoe were arrested after 250 of parcels of iced ‘saiko’ fish were found in the canoe.
He added that the practice was against the fisheries regulations and had also contributed largely to the poor catch phenomenon lately, adding “so we arrested and handed them over to the Apam Police for further investigations.”
He gave the assurance that the suspects would be put before court for prosecution.
Some of the people asserted that the owner of the fish would lose huge sums of money since each of the 250 parcels of iced fish could be sold at GH¢150.