Mrs Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, has advised fishermen in various communities to boldly point out people who are on the landing beach committees but are not fishermen.
She said the committees were for the fishermen and it was very necessary that their membership was largely fishermen to champion the cause.
The Minister made the call when members of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC) called on her to present a petition regarding landing beach committees.
The Landing Beach Committees, being constituted in the various fishing communities by government, seeks to ensure the smooth operations of the fisher folks as far as their needs are concerned.
However, some of the committees in the 32 inland districts within the coastal belt are faced with some challenges as some of the committee members are not fishermen but people with different backgrounds.
Nii Asaase Ayitey, Kokrobite Wolei Atse, speaking on behalf of the Council stated that the situation was a worry to them and therefore needed the urgent attention of the Minister.
He said Legislative Instrument (L.I) 2233 of the National Premix Fuel Committee regulations clearly stipulates the mode of committee’s formation which included the chief fisherman, a representative of canoe owners as a member, a representative from the Ministry, fishmongers, the Municipal Chief Executive and a secretary.
Nii Asaase said it had come to the council’s notice of the illegalities perpetrated with the takeover of sales outlets and management of premix fuel at the landing beaches including massive diversion of the product to other areas and called on the Minister to investigate this.
He called for the new National Premix Secretariat to account for its stewardship.
Mr John Dickson Eshun, the Western Region Public Relations Officer of the Council, appealed to government to more often than not channel things through the Council to ensure its success and also asked that chief fishermen to be empowered to enable them to fight against light fishing.
He called for the reduction of the activities of foreign vessels as it was affecting the local fisher folks.
The Minister expressed gratitude to the fisher folks for their commitment, saying the major problem with the fishing industry in Ghana was light fishing and was happy the fishermen themselves were ready to partner with government to fight it.
Mrs Quaye said the few who were able to afford the light for fishing were enjoying at the expense of the other fishermen and causing huge damage to the sea and expressed government’s readiness to fight the menace.
She urged the fishermen to stop using monofilament net and other harmful chemicals and equipment for fishing as such practices depleted the sea at a faster rate.
“Anybody caught causing infractions to the law will be dealt with,” she said.