Government is negotiating for the acquisition of new and more efficient marine engines to replace the make-shift engines used by most of the Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association’s semi-industrial vessels.
This was announced by Mr Mike Akyeampong, Chairman of the Fisheries Commission at the re-opening and re-operationalisation of the Drydock at Tema.
It was after the completion of rehabilitation work on the Drydock Crane and Dredging of the Tema Harbour.
A statement issued by the Commission and copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday, however, did not give details in the negotiations.
Mr Akyeampong expressed appreciation to the management of the Drydock for the courtesy accorded the Commission in allowing access to the facility, which had put smiles on the faces of the concerned fishermen, in view of the fact that it would not only revitalise their economic well-being but also regenerate employment and save lives and property.
The statement said Mr Daniel Owusu, Secretary to the Commission, on their behalf, presented a cheque for GH¢2,000 to the Association to pay for the cost of dredging and disposal of the debris.
It said during a visit to the Drydock, the Commission had a favourable response, which allowed the repair works on the cradle and dredging to begin after five years of deprivation from usage of the facility resulting in the sinking of a few vessels due to leakages through wear and tear and related problems.
Mr Joseph Nii Armah Quaye, President of the Association, said rehabilitation of the crane, cradle and dredging, had come as a big relief to the fishermen.
He said the un-affordability of high cost of services charged by the main Drydock, which hampered their fishing activities, was a thing of the past and therefore thanked the Commission for the tremendous support rendered to the Association.
He said on assumption of office by the New Fisheries Commission, reconstituted on September 1, 2009, the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) as a matter of urgency tasked it (Commission) to come out with a revised Legislation Instrument to give effect to the parent Law, Fisheries “Act 2002, Act 625.”
During stakeholders meetings with the different groups or associations in the fishery sector, which supported the Legislative Instrument review, an appeal among others was made by certain groups to the Commission to rehabilitate the Tema Boatyard and Drydock, as a matter of urgency.
The most vibrant group on the Drydock rehabilitation is the Association, which officially appealed to the Commission to negotiate on its behalf with the authorities of the Drydock to allow access to the facility for rehabilitation.
At a meeting of the Commission, it decided to move to the Drydock to assess the seriousness of the situation and to subsequently take necessary action, with the urgency it deserved.