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Fisheries Ministry poised to fight illegal fishing

General News

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has disclosed that her ministry is no longer giving permits and licenses to vessels to operate at the ports.

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has disclosed that her ministry is no longer giving permits and licenses to vessels to operate at the ports.

 

This, she said, was part of strategies being undertaken by the ministry to reduce the number of fleets at the ports, as well as to avoid excessive fishing which leads to a depletion in the stock of fish in Ghanaian waters.

“As a new government, what we intend doing is to make sure we do not repeat mistakes of the past but as agreed we would want to reduce the numbers of the fleets so we would not have over fishing on our waters,” Madam Afoley Quaye indicated.

She added that a team had been tasked to inspect the vessels so that “those contravening the laws will be taken out and it is all in our bid to reduce the fleets drastically.”

The minister disclosed this when a Senior Natural Resource Economist, Jingjie Chu, working in the Global Programme on Fisheries and Aquaculture at the World Bank, paid a visit to that Ministry in Accra.

Madam Afoley Quaye further stated that, together with the World Bank, her ministry was planning to set up fish processing facilities that would meet up the European Union standards for women engaged in fish mongering.

“This will ensure that our women process especially the smoking method of fish with an improved fish smoking facility which is also known as FTTPROE and the Ahunto Movement so that our women will be able to export the fish,” she explained.

The Minister indicated that these plans were in a bid to strengthen ties with the World Bank as well as for Ghana to qualify and proceed unto to the second phase of the West Africa Fisheries Project.

The International Development Association of the World Bank funds the West Africa Fisheries Project, designed to assist countries address constraints in their fisheries sector by providing them with support that would strengthen the governance of the industry to reach an environmentally sustainable and economically profitable level.

The programme covers eight countries, which include Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Senegal, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Guinea and Guinea Bissau while Cote d’Ivoire and Gambia stand to be potential participants.

The Senior Economist, Jingjie Chu, commended Ghana’s effort in reducing illegal fishing, the fight against obnoxious chemicals and the sensitization of women on the processing of the fish.

The first phase of the West Africa Fisheries Project, which started in 2011, is an ongoing programme that will end in December 31, 2017 and is likely to be expanded if Ghana continues to make progress in the fisheries sector.

The programme has four main components which comprise activities that will be implemented in each of the eight countries which includes good governance and sustainable management of the fisheries, reduction of illegal fishing, increasing the contribution of the marine fish resources to the local economies and coordination and monitoring and evaluation program management.