The Fisheries Commission says with the help of the European Union, it is strategizing to address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Ghana’s territorial waters.
Mr Emmanuel Kwame Dovlo, Deputy Director of Fisheries at the Fisheries Commission in an interaction with the media at Tema said over the past four weeks, the Commission had embarked on tours to sensitize fisher-folks on the consequences of engaging in IUU fishing.
He said Ghana-EU IUU working group would be activated to draw some timelines to tackle the identified shortcomings as part of broader measures to avoid a ban.
Mr Dovlo would add up to existing initiatives such as reactivation of the vessel monitoring system, deployment of observers on industrial vessels, and the collaboration with the Ghana Navy and Marine Police to strengthen monitoring of fishing activity on sea.
He said, “We are trying to gather intelligence to ensure that wherever illegal fishing is going on, we move in. We are monitoring the canoes, and we have already put in measures to control the trawl fishing.”
He said the Fisheries Commission would issue a directive to enforce the use of prescribed trawl gear in order to end juvenile catch.
He added that the Commission would help fisher-folks to manage their resources to make compliance easier as part of ongoing sensitization programmes across coastal areas.
This the Commission say was aimed at restoring the fisheries sector to conform with internationally acceptable practices following a threat of the EU to sanction Ghana on IUU fishing in her waters.
The EU on June 02, 2021 issued Ghana with warning (Yellow Card) indicating that it had identified some shortcomings including; illegal transshipments at sea of large quantities of undersized juvenile pelagic species between industrial trawl vessels and canoes in Ghanaian waters.
It also identified deficiencies in the monitoring, control and surveillance of the fleet, and a legal framework that is not aligned with the relevant international obligations Ghana had signed up to.
It added that “The sanctions imposed by Ghana to vessels engaging in or supporting IUU fishing activities are not effective and not an adequate deterrent”.
It therefore advised Ghana to ensure effective monitoring and control of the activities of its fishing vessels and an adequate implementation of its enforcement and sanctioning system.