The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hon. Hawa Koomson, together with her Deputy Minister Hon. Moses Anim, as part of the operation to ensure that the Ministerial Directives are followed, paid a visit to the Tema Fishing Harbor on 13th December, 2022 to conduct an inspection on a vessel, Long Xiang 603 which had arrived from sea after a month on sea to discharge fish.
Over the years, the fisheries sector has been confronted with issues related to climate change, illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing, gear development, small-scale fisheries, high sea fisheries, as well as inadequate technology and infrastructure capacity in the fisheries sector. To help curtail some of these irregularities, and help in achieving gear development, Hon. Hawa Koomson, issued a Ministerial Directive on the use of fishing gear by industrial trawl vessels which has been in force since September 1, 2022.
HON. HAWA KOOMSON AND HER TEAM INSPECT VESSEL LONG XIANG603 AT TEMA FISHING HARBOUR
PURPOSE OF THE VISIT
The purpose of the visit, was to ensure that the vessel at berth used the appropriate fishing gears, also to make sure all documentation such as licensing of the vessel were in order, as well as to check the type of fish brought on board, also to make sure the fish were in the required sizes and sorted out appropriately in their various sizes.
The Ministers conducted the inspection in the company of the Fisheries Enforcement Unit (FEU), which comprises of Fisheries Officers from the Monitoring Control and Surveillance Division (MCSD), The Fisheries (FSSD), as well as the Marine Police and the Navy, and Mr. Paul Bannerman, the Deputy Executive director of the Fisheries Commission was also on the team for the inspection.
ACTIVITIES OF THE DAY
The inspection began at 2:15pm. At the arrival of the Minister and the Deputy Minister, officers from the MCS briefed the Honorable Ministers about the activities for the day. The observer for the vessel was invited to explain his report he presented, and difficulties he encountered on sea. He stated that he ensured that the appropriate net was used for fishing, and the fishes were sorted in their required sizes.
The first place of inspection was the bridge, where the Honorable Ministers inspected the documentation of the vessel. After the inspection of document, the Honorable Ministers, and the team proceeded to inspect the maintenance of the vessel, they inspected the safety equipment that were required to be on the vessel, as well as the hygienic conditions of the vessels.
The team with the Honorable Ministers proceeded to inspect the Hatch, which is where the catch are stored. At the Hatch, samples of fish were brought out for inspection to make sure the appropriate type and sizes of fish was what was brought onboard. Although, the honorable ministers had their reservations on some of the sizes and the sorting of the fish, satisfactory explanation was given to that effect. However, The Honorable Ministers instructed that discharge of the fish should start in their presence.
While the Honorable Minister Hon. Hawa Koomsom supervised the discharge of the fish, the Deputy Minister also proceeded to conduct a pre-departure inspection on two vessels; Lu Rong Yuan Yu 219 and Lu Rong Yuan Yu 212 which were ready to be on sea.
CHECKING ON THE SIZE OF FISH AND THE TYPES BEFORE DISCHARGED
It was observed that, the inspection was relatively interactive and open.
Moving forward, in the future, inspections as such should start earlier in order for adequate time to conduct more activities in line with the inspection without leaving out the tiniest detail. Each pallet was to have 50 boxes of fish, however because of time, the discharge of fish could not be done in one day. Therefore, the activity of discharge of fish was done the subsequent days.
At the end of the inspection, a fisheries officer gave a closing remark and appreciated the presence of the Honorable Ministers. The Honorable Minister responded to the remark and thanked everyone for their efforts in making the inspection a success. The entire inspection ended at 5:00pm.