The Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC) from Central Region and the National Fish Processors and Traders Association (NAFPTA) met with the Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Hon. Francis Kingsley Ato Codjoe, the Director for Fisheries Commission Lawyer Arthur Dadzie and the Acting Chief Director for Fisheries and Aquaculture Prof. Francis K.E Nunoo to present a joint communique on priorities for small scale fishers, processors and traders in the Central Region for the reform of the national fisheries law framework. The meeting was held on Friday 22nd June 2018 at the Ministry’s conference room.
The joint communique involved ten main problems that need to be tackled which are:
- ban on sale and importation of monofilament nets,
- prohibitions against fishing with light, chemicals and explosives,
- ending Saiko and stricter regulation of the industrial trawl fleet,
- extensions of the inshore exclusion zone,
- preservation and improvement of landing and processing zones,
- transparency in the use of funds in the Fisheries Development Fund,
- mitigation of impacts from the oil and gas sector,
- legal basis for fisheries management and enforcement at the local level,
- designation of Sunday as an additional fishing holiday and
- de-centralisation of structures for conflict resolution.
The men also requested that the Chief fishermen will be empowered and given legal backing to project fishing issues.
The Chief Director entreated them to help the fight against Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). He went further to say processors can help by refusing to purchase any fish that has been brought to them through illegal fishing. That way, the fishermen will be forced to stop because they know the fish processors will not purchase the fish.
The Director for Fisheries Commission also said they the fisher folk together with the Fisheries Commission need to be firm about the campaign against light fishing. He said we should all work together to take care of the fishing sector because if it fails, it affects all Ghanaians in general.
The Hon. Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture mentioned that a lot of Ghana’s population eat fish, so if the fishing industry collapses, it affects fishermen, fishmongers, market women just to mention a few, aside consumers. He said the ministry is implementing policies and strategies that will help rebuild the fish stock. They will find ways to educate the fisher folks on the laws governing the fishing industry. This will help them to know the right things to do and what not to do about fishing.
He strongly spoke against light fishing, it is because the light kills the fish in the water that’s why it is illegal.
The deputy minister also said closed season favours artisanal fishing and would benefit all Ghanaians. This is to enable the fishes to spawn more and fishermen will get bigger fish than the ones they usually get.