The Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana(CaFGOAG) has observed that destructive fishing methods and practices by individual vessels continue to drive the collapse of Ghana’s artisanal fisheries.
According to the association, prominent among the illegalities, was the “Saiko trade” involving harvesting and sale at sea of juvenile and small pelagic fishes by industrial trawlers to adapted canoes.
This was contained in a press release issued and signed by the Chairman of the association, Nana Kweigyah and made available to the GNA in Takoradi.
The release said the “The time required a comprehensive plan to address Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing in artisanal fisheries.
“While we look forward to expedite action on the destructive activities of industrial vessels, it is important to have in place, a comprehensive plan and strategies to be followed to address IUU fishing in artisanal fisheries” .
The association also reiterated that its position in combatting IUU fishing in artisanal fisheries, enforcement alone was unsustainable and unreliable.
It therefore called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission to engage resource users and other stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive plan and strategies that focused on enforcement and deterrence and compliance that could be followed to address IUU fishing in artisanal fisheries.
The association announced that landing of “Saiko fish” at landing beaches stopped since fishing resumed after the 2021 fishing closed season and commended the sector Minister, Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson for the efforts.
“This is not to say that fishing within the Inshore Exclusive Zone(IEZ) and harvesting of small pelagic fishes by industrial vessels, have stopped but it is a good step towards addressing the destructive Saiko trade that is collapsing artisanal fisheries” .
The association also thanked the sector Minister for restoring premix fuel supply to the suspended fishing communities in both Greater Accra and Central Regions.
It said as key stakeholders in artisanal fisheries, “we are ready to have discussions with the Ministry, the Commission and other stakeholders on this”.
The association congratulated Mr.Percy Dennis Quaicoe on his appointment as National Premix Committee Chairman and wished him well.
The association hoped that he would address the disturbing re-emerging issues with premix fuel supply and distribution.