The Executive Director of the Fisheries Commision, Mr. Fred Kwasi Antwi-Boadu, conducted a quayside inspection on two vessels; Long Xiang 601 and Long Xiang 606, on the 22nd December, 2022, at the Tema Fishing Harbour. This is the fourth inspection, on six vessels conducted in a week.

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 Executive Director 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 Quayside inspections on vessels that return from sea.


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 Executive Director, conducted the inspection in the company of Mr. Paul Bannerman, the Deputy Executive Director of the Fisheries Commission, Mr. Dovlo, the head of FSSD, and 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. Mr. Samuel Quartey, the Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture later joined the inspection.


The inspection of the first vessel Long Xiang 601 began at about 10:00am. At the arrival of the Executive Director, officers from the MCSD briefed him about the activities for the day. The observer for the first 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. He also stated that there was no bunkering (buying fuel on sea) on sea.

The first place of inspection was the bridge, where the Executive Director and the team 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. As per Quayside inspection requirement, the life jackets on board were counted, it was the exact number for the crew that were on board, and some surplus was recorded as well.

The team with the Executive Director proceeded to inspect the Hatch, which is where the fish are stored. At the first Hatch, it was observed that the hatch was overfull hence, the rest of the boxes were kept at a place in the hatch were the fish could not freeze properly. The Executive Director and the team were infuriated by this act, and asked that all the boxes that formed the overflow should be brought out, and taken away for later decision to be taken on them. Unfortunately, the second hatch suffered similar fate, and all the over flow packages were brought out and taken to the appropriate quarters while awaiting the final decision on this act.  Samples of fish were brought out for inspection to make sure the appropriate type and sizes of fish was what was brought onboard. The two gears used for fishing by the vessel was inspected, and measurement and other requirement was checked, to make sure the nets were exactly what the Ministerial Directive requires.

The Executive Director asked that the discharge of fish began under strict supervision.

The Executive Director and the team moved to inspect the second vessel Long Xiang 606, as standard procedure for inspection, the observer for the second 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. He also stated that there was one bunkering which was done on sea.

Just as done on the first vessel, the Executive Director and the team proceeded to the bridge of the vessel to check if all documentations of the vessels were in order. The maintenance, and all other safety measures required were checked. However, the life jacket had exactly the number for crew members on board with no surplus, the Executive Director and the team gave a caution to the crew of the vessels, they asked that there should be more surplus, just in case of any emergency, and further stated that when next the captain and the crew flouted this law they will be taken on, and serve the consequence that may follow.

The Executive Director and the team inspected the cabins, and finally went down to inspect the hatch and the nets. The nets were inspected and they met all the standard requirement, according to the Ministerial Directive on trawl gears. The hatches were opened and samples were brought out and measured, the Catch were quite impressive. However, The Executive Director 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 species of fish for inspection. Measurements were also taken on random fish, to see if they met the appropriate weight and value


It was observed that, the inspection was relatively interactive and open, also the inspection was done thoroughly. Also, there was usually a language barrier between the team and the Captain and some of the crew members who were not Ghanaians.  The agents of the vessels usually resorted to either making signs or spoke “broken’’ English or Chinese, as a means of communicating with the Captain and the crew who were non-Ghanaians.


Moving forward, adequate preparation should be put in place for an interpreter by the management of the vessel. The agents of the vessels who are liaisons between the vessel owners, crew and the team usually do not understand the Chinese language to be able to explain better to the Captain and his crew who are not Ghanaians what the Honorable Ministers and the team require from them, especially what they will require of them to do better. It is therefore prudent to have someone on board who understood Chinese and English language to the latter, because some of the information given require in-depth explanation, in order for the other party to comprehend and follow. Therefore, if there are no interpreters on board to bridge this gap, communication becomes relatively impossible and difficult


At the end of the inspection, a fisheries officer gave a closing remark and appreciated the presence of the Executive Director, and all protocol observed. The Executive Director 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, and firm in the discharge of their duty, and execute their duties without fear and favour.  The quayside inspection of both vessels ended at 1:30pm.

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.