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Fisheries Minister denies asking fishermen to collect plastic waste

Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye

The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has denied asking fishermen to collect plastic waste for sale during the closed fishing season.

There was news making rounds on some media platforms that the minister said the fishermen should capitalize on the closed season to rid the sea of filth, a comment which the fishermen described as an insult to them.

But speaking on 3FM‘s Sunrise on Tuesday, the Fisheries Minister said she would never ask fishermen to do such a thing as picking plastic waste.

“I never said fishers should go out and pick plastic in this closed season,” Elizabeth Afoley Quaye stressed.

She noted, however, that government has plans in place to set up plastic pellet facilities within fishing communities to create jobs within those communities.

As part of government’s decision to protect fish stock, a ban has been placed on fishing from August 7, 2018 to September 4, 2018.

Elizabeth Afoley Quaye stated that the choice of August as the month to implement the ban was based on discussions held with some fishermen who said August is most suitable.

“When we considered August, the fishers themselves came to us to tell us they are not able to fish in the first two weeks of August so we should start the close season in the first week of August.”

However, the Fisheries Minister said the ministry has alternative measures that will help the fishermen within the one-month long moratorium.

Meanwhile, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Ministry has started putting up salt production facilities along coastal areas to provide jobs and serve as a hub for salt production in the country.

The project started early this year and it is still ongoing but expected to be completed within the next three months.

By Abena Amoanimah Agyei|3news.com|Ghana

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