Leaders of the fisherfolk in Elmina in the Central Region are expected to meet with the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, following a punishment meted out to them by the minister.
Hawa Koomson over the weekend extended by a month, the closed fishing season for fishermen at Elmina, and also denied them premix fuel as punishment for their unwillingness to renounce light fishing.
Some aggrieved fishermen have said, they fear criminal activities may rise in coastal towns as a result of the extended ban on fishing activities.
They had claimed that since the introduction of pair trawling on Ghanaian waters, they are unable to get enough fish without the use of light.
But the Fisheries Minister indicated that the restrictions will be lifted when there are indications of compliance on the part of the fisherfolk.
In an interview with the media, the Executive Director for the Fisheries Commission, Michael Arthur Dadzie, said the fisherfolk in Elmina have apologized for their action, adding that they may be pardoned after the meeting.
“The leadership of the fishers in Elmina will meet us [today, Tuesday]. Going forward, we will see what we will do, but I strongly believe that the Minster has tender care. One of the fishers was delegated to come to Sekondi to render an unqualified apology, and the Minister said she has accepted it in good faith.”
A ban on the movement of poultry and poultry products within and from the affected regions and districts to other parts of the country, and strict inspection and issuance of permits to cover the movement of all poultry and poultry products from unaffected parts of the country, has also been put in place.
In addition, the Ministry said it has intensified public awareness and sensitization by Regional Coordinating Councils and District Assemblies, especially in the affected areas.
Fisheries specialist Minister’s questions decision to extend the closed season at Elmina
A fisheries specialist, Richster Nii Armah Ammah Fio, has questioned the Fisheries Minister’s decision to extend the closed fishing season in Elmina.
Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Ammah Fio disagreed with the decision, saying the minister should act on the existing laws in such situations.
”If you make it punishable, it defeats the purpose. Secondly, the law clearly defines the punishment for every offence. If people are using light for fishing, there are clear provisions in the law that prescribe which punishment to give. I don’t think it is right that other fishermen who may be doing things right will be affected,” he noted.