As part of the routine quayside inspection conducted on vessels that berth at the fishing harbour, the Fisheries Enforcement Unit (FEU) conducted a quayside inspection on vessel Long Xiang 602 on the 29th December, 2022, at the Tema Fishing Harbour. This is the fifth inspection, on seventh vessels conducted in two weeks.
Quayside inspections are regular inspections conducted when a vessel is either ready to leave for sea, or berths at the harbour. These inspections are standard procedures to make sure the vessels follow all requirement before going on sea, or to make sure vessels that berth, have followed all standard procedures while on sea
Over the years, the fisheries sector has been confronted with issues related to climate change, illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing, gear development, as well as other fishing issues that are 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.
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 packaged appropriately in their various sizes.
The inspection was conducted by the Fisheries Enforcement Unit (FEU), which comprises of Fisheries Officers from the Monitoring Control and Surveillance Division (MCSD), the Fisheries Scientific Survey Division (FSSD), as well as the Marine Police and the Navy.
ACTIVITIES OF THE DAY
The inspection of the vessel Long Xiang 602 began at about 10:35am. At the arrival of the officers, the observer for the vessel was invited to explain his report he presented on the vessel, and difficulties he may have encountered on sea. He stated that he ensured that the appropriate net was used for fishing, and the fish were packaged in their required sizes.
The first place of inspection was the bridge, where the officers inspected the documentation of the vessel. After the inspection of documents, 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 vessel. The team asked that the life jackets on board be counted, it was the exact number for the crew and some extras, which was very commendable. The team further inspected the nets to make sure they met the appropriate requirement. Fortunately, all the nets used by the vessel to fish met all the standard requirement, according to the Ministerial Directive on trawl gears. The team proceeded to inspect the Hatch, which is where the fish are stored. At the Hatches, samples of fish were brought out for inspection to make sure the appropriate type and sizes of fish was what was brought onboard. The team, were very impressed with the sizes and how the fish had been sorted and packaged, and acknowledged the fish were better in sizes. However, the team then asked that, the discharge of the fish should start under their supervision, so random sampling inspections can be conducted.
During the discharge, random samples were taken from the packaged fish, from different spices of fish for inspection. Measurements were also taken on random fish, to see if the meet the appropriate weight and value.
It was observed that, the inspection was relatively interactive and open, also the inspection was done thoroughly. The team made sure that, the crew of the vessel were involved in the inspection.
At the end of the inspection, the FEU officers were stationed to supervise the discharge of the rest of the fish till all the fish in the hatches were discharged. The team also took records of the fish being discharged for further analysis, and recommendations.