The introduction of the Electronic and Vessel Monitoring Systems has enabled the Fisheries Commission to rake in a whopping GHȻ6 million ( USD 1.5 million) from fines.
The monitoring systems have also helped to curtail Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the country.
The Commission made this known at the second National Steering Committee of stakeholders of the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) in Accra.
MESA is part of the Economics Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Coastal and Maritime Thelma which is meant to resolve territorial conflicts among artisanal fishermen and semi-industrial vessel operators.
Godfrey Baido Tsibu of the Fisheries Commission said fishing vessels, who were caught engaged in IUU in Ghana’s territorial waters by the MESA Project have so far paid over GHȻ4 million in fines to the Commission.
He said the monitoring system has also brought to an end to the issue of pair trawling which troubled many artisanal fishermen in the past.
Baido Tsibu said issues of fishing in foreign waters have been brought under control since the introduction of the MESA project, adding that the Commission has put measures in place to eliminate IUU and foreign vessels.
Baido Tsibu said 25 to 30 percent of fish caught through IUU are unreported and the affected countries lose close to $23 billion every year, explaining that the beneficiaries use these monies to buy guns to fuel conflicts in some part of the world.
Eunice Nuerkie Ofoli-Anum, National Focus Person (NFP) for the MESA project, urged the artisanal fishermen council to set up by-laws that will sanction fisher folks who will violate the safety regulations of the Commission.
She gave assurance that the Commission was working to have fix transponders on all 12,000 canoes operating in the country to control illegal fishing and ensure safety in the industry.