The Greater Accra Region branch the Ghana National Canoe and Fishermen Council (GNCFC) has condemned the violence meted out by some fishermen to humiliate the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, in Ada-Foh in the Greater Region.
According to the executive of the GNCFC, the minister was expected to inaugurate Fisheries Watch Volunteer Group a few weeks ago at Otrokpeh, near Big Ada, and this recalcitrant group went to loosen the erected tents and arranged plastic chairs to halt the event, following an organized demonstration against the minister and verbal assaulted on her.
It took the police more than an hour to bring the irate youth, who had massed up at the venue, amid the chanting of war songs, under control for the event to come on.
The inaugurated Fisheries Watch Volunteer Group (FWVG) was charged to help check and prevent those who are fond of using unacceptable fishing method – light, acid, carbide, among others, to fish in the waters.
Nene Tetteh Siaw IV, the general secretary of the GNCFC, Accra Branch, said, “we condemn unreservedly the riotous opposition to the FWVG by those fishers from the Ada-Foh area who think they cannot survive without light or acid fishing.”
At a press conference held in Accra, the chairman of GNCFC, Greater Accra, Nii Akpo Djamlodja VI, described the act to humiliate the minister as unfortunate.
Chairman Djamlodja VI reminded the rioting fishermen of the law and regulations governing their activities which they are signatories to.
“We spearheaded the enactment of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act, 880) and the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (L.I. 2217) to address the challenges and enforcement of regulations to fight, deter and prevent illegal fishing,” he added.
The formation of the Fisheries Watch Volunteer Group, Nii Djamlodja IV explained, was a decision that was agreed with fishermen to come out with such a volunteer group to help the marine police to cause the arrest of fellow fishermen who indulge in illegal fishing.
Those rioting fishermen, numbering over 500, temporarily disrupted the inauguration of the group at Otrokpeh, near Ada-Foh in the Ada East District in the Greater Accra Region.
In spite of the unfortunate act, the GNCFC told The Republic that the swearing-in of a 50-member group selected from the Ada East District and the Accra Metropolis, especially fisherfolk, was made by Mrs. Afoley Quaye.
The FWVG was an initiative of the Fisheries Commission and its stakeholders; and as part of their duties, the group is to monitor the beaches to enforce fishing regulations and infractions and assist in the prosecution of fisheries violations.
Also, they are to patrol both sea and land to ensure that canoes that are being used are duly registered.
The chairman urged every member to respect the law and avoid using bad chemicals and other equipment in fishing activities.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Delali A. Awuyeh