Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Elizabeth Afoley Quaye has given the strongest indications of her commitment to end illegal fishing in the country.
The Fisheries Minister who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Krowor said stopping illegal fishing will provide a level playing field for all fisher folks as well as ensuring that fish sold in the market are free of poison.
The use of light to attract fish and other illegal means of fishing including the use of dynamites, are adversely affecting the fishing industry in Ghana. It was estimated in 2012 that illegal fishing cost Ghana over 100 million euros. The phenomenon is now posing threat to livelihoods of people who consume the commodity trapped with poisonous substance. The European Union has also threatened to ban fish coming from Ghana if government does not find ways to the phenomenon.
But Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture has reiterated her commitment to let the law deal with anyone found engaging in illegal fishing.
Speaking to Onua FM’s morning show, the minister said both the IGP and the Minister for Justice and Attorney General are ready to expedite actions with regards to prosecuting people arrested for illegal fishing. She noted that plans are far advanced in launching a fisheries watchdog committee to police the Ghanaian coastlines.
“We will launch a watchdog committee comprising fisher folks, Ghana Navy, and the Marine Police to patrol our coastal areas. I have alerted the IGP and the Attorney General to help us prosecute people that are arrested. We have to end this practice”
Some 200 fishermen were recently arrested for using poisonous chemicals like Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethene (DDT) to fish.
The minister assured that the culprits would be dealt with according to the laws of the country. “This will serve as a deterrent to other people who are doing this. Illegal fishing must be a thing of the past” Elizabeth Afoley Quaye told Yaw Opare on Yen Nsem Pa.
By Bright Dzakah/Onua 95.1Fm/3news.com