Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food and Agriculture, Eric Opoku has charged government to research and zone the sea to protect fish stock instead of resorting to a ban on fishing activities.
His calls come on the back of a month ban on fishing activities by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Ministry which takes effect from August.
The Ranking Member who spoke on 3FM’s Sunrise morning show on Wednesday said government ought to put measures in place to support the fishing industry instead of denying fisher folks their daily bread through a ban on fishing.
“Research indicates that fishes do not form in all parts of the sea, they have specific areas where forming takes place in the sea. Elsewhere, those areas are identified and declared as no go areas, and that is a measure to make sure that you protect the fish stock.”
He noted that the approach of government to ban fishing activities is wrong, and is further worrying as a result of the time government chose to place the ban.
“We are not against the closed season but we are against the timing and nature of the closed season being implemented.We have a problem with the fact that government has placed a ban on all fishing activities in August and some parts of September.”
According to Eric Opoku, parliament’s Food and Agriculture Committee is aware of the depleting state of the fish stock and the fact that it needs to be restored, but blanket banning of fishing activities is not the way to go.
“Government has two responsibilities here, one is protecting life of the human being and also protecting the fishes. So if the policy is such that they are looking at the interest of just the fishes against the interest of the human beings then it becomes problematic.”
He said measures ought to be put in place to ensure that the trend of lost stock is reversed, making sure that the fish stock is protected for the upcoming generation.
Eric Opoku reiterated the need to protect the stock through zoning like countries like Senegal by spotting the areas of fish production to allow fishing to go on at other areas.
By Helena Charway| 3news.com| Ghana