Energy Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has revealed that the incursion of fishermen into the exclusive zones around the country’s offshore oil and gas installation is on the increase and average 5,000 annually.
He stated that these unwarranted and worrisome incursions are posing serious risks to these critical offshore installations as well as other users of the country’s territorial waters.
“I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to Nananom and our hard working fishing community that these zones are earmarked also to protect them and their activities and should respect the zones as such.”
Speaking at a meeting with members of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, the Minister admitted that the coast of the Western Region has in recent times seen an increase in exploration activities, which is accounting for competition for the marine space.
“Increase in exploration activities on the sea is affecting livelihood,” he observed.
But he stated that government on its part and through the Petroleum Commission will intensify and extend community education across the coastal front of Ghana to reach other fishermen beyond the Region “to ensure that the oil activities are not carried out at the expense of fishing and other lawful economic activities”.
Assurance to Nananom
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh assured the House that his ministry is open to effective collaboration in ensuring that the Western Region gets the needed benefits from the oil and gas activities.
“The mandatory requirement to manage and minimise the adverse impacts of petroleum activities on the host communities would be respected…It was important for Ghanaians to collectively support the government to ensure that maximum benefits were derived from the God-given resource and for the development of the country.”