The Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hon. Moses Anim conducted a quayside inspection on vessel Long Xiang 608, on the 19th December, 2022, at the Tema Fishing Harbour. This is the third inspection, on four vessels conducted in a week.
HON. MOSES ANIM DEPUTY MINISTER (MoFAD) INSPECTING THE VESSEL AT BERTH
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. Therefore, the Deputy Minister was at the Fishing Harbour to make sure the vessel that have berth, have followed all protocol and requirements.
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
Hence the need to conduct regular pre-departure inspection and inspections on vessels that return from sea.
PURPOSE OF THE VISIT
The purpose of the visit, was to ensure that the vessels 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 Deputy Minister, conducted the inspection in the company of Commodore Francis Nyarko, the National Coordinator of the Fisheries Enforcement Unit, 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 608 began at about 8:15am. At the arrival of the Deputy Minister, officers from the MCSD briefed the Deputy Minister about the activities for the day. The observer for the first 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 Honorable Deputy Minister inspected the documentation of the vessel. After the inspection of documents, Hon. Moses Anim, 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 vessel. The Deputy Minister asked that the life jackets on board be counted, it was the exact number for the crew that were on board without any surplus, the Hon. Moses Anim gave a caution to the captain of the vessels, he asked that there should be more surplus, just in case of any emergency
The team with the Deputy Minister proceeded to inspect the Hatch, which is where the fish 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. The Deputy Minister, was very impressed with the sizes and how the fish had been packaged, and acknowledged the fish were better. However, The Deputy Minister instructed that discharge of the fish should start in his presence, 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.
At the end of the inspection, a fisheries officer gave a closing remark and appreciated the presence of the Deputy Minister, and all protocol observed. The Honorable Minister responded to the remark by thanking everyone present for their efforts in making the inspection a success, and he admonished that the FEU officers should be vigilant in their discharge of duty, and execute their duties without fear and favour. The quayside inspection ended at 2:30pm.
However, the FEU officers were still stationed to supervise the discharge of the rest of the fish till all the fish in the hatch had been discharged.