Tema, Feb 26, GNA – Some stakeholders in Ghana‘s fisheries sector of on Friday cautioned the general public and politicians against politicizing the sector and the Fisheries Regulation Law 2010 (LI 1968).
Speaking at a press conference in Tema on Friday, a group of fishermen and fishmongers indicated that “we are not very comfortable with the reports that some people want to associate the industry with a partisan interest”.
The press conference was hosted by the Tema Canoe Owners Association, and attended by fisher-folks from the Western, Central, Volta and the Greater-Accra Regions.
Mr. Jefferson Daker Ocansey, spokesperson for the group, pointed out that the Fisheries Sector was non-partisan, non-sectarian, and non-ethnocentric.
“The sea where we work has no boundaries, we speak the same language, and dance to the same tune, as well as consider one another as each other’s keeper. We shall, therefore, not look on when due to partisan and political interests, the strings that bind us together are split” he said.
Mr Ocansey who is also the Assembly Member for the Homowo Electoral Area at Tema Manhean, added that it was unfortunate that some of his colleagues were attempting to treat the Fisheries Act, 625 of 2002 and the Fisheries Regulation Law 2010 “as bad laws ostensibly to destroy the industry”.
The Fisheries Act was passed to ban fishing with light, pair trawling, and the use of dynamite for fishing, among others.
He said in 1999/2000, they advocated against the use of the light aggregating method of fishing after they realised the destructive nature of the practise to the marine ecosystem.
The current Fisheries Commission, he indicated, did an extensive consultation with all stakeholders after which Parliament unanimously passed it into Law in 2010.
He questioned why groups from the semi-industrialized and artisanal were calling for the review of certain clauses in the regulation when it was yet to be fully implemented.
The spokesperson further implored all in the fishing industry to come together as stakeholders to discuss with government strategies to rescue the sector which, he said, was currently in a very distressed state.
Some of the fisher folks also stated that with the ban on light fishing, they were now catching different species of fish which had the proper quality and taste which hitherto were missing, due to fishing with light.