Two Ghanaians and three Chinese were on Tuesday put before the Takoradi Habour Magistrate Court for committing fisheries infractions in Ghana’s marine domain.
The five, whose names have been withheld for security reasons, are crew members of a Chinese fishing vessel, Lu Rong Yuan Yu 956.
The accused persons which include the Captain, Chief Engineer, Chief Officer (all Chinese), and the Fish Master and Boatswain, both Ghanaians, have been charged with the offence of juvenile fishing and fishing using prohibited undersized mesh.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been remanded in police custody to re-appear before the Harbour Circuit Court on June 16.
Lu Rong Yuan Yu 956, the Ghanaian flagged vessel with all-Chinese executives, was arrested at about 8am, on Saturday, May 30, some 16 nautical knots in Sekondi waters and brought into the Takoradi Port.
Apart from the five Chinese executives, there were a large number of Ghanaian labourers aboard the Chinese fishing vessel.
This is the second time the crew had been arrested for fisheries offences in Ghana’s waters.
The Ghanaian Times reported in June last year, that the Lu Rong Yuan Yu 956 (AF 756) HYPERLINK “https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/foreign-trawler-in-illegal-fishing-venture-nabbed-in-ghana” \t “_blank”was arrested for illegal fishing in Ghana’s waters and taken to court, following which the executives pleaded guilty at arbitration at the Fisheries Commission, and, were slapped with a one million dollar fine.
“The vessel failed to pay the fine. The executives never attended court except their lawyers,” a source told the Ghanaian Times and expressed shock that the same vessel was committing the very crime for which it was punished.
The Lu Rong Yuan Yu 956 (AF 756) is operated by Gyinam Fisheries Limited, a subsidiary of Shandong Province, China-based Rongcheng Ocean Fishery Company Limited.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI PORT