Programmes Manager of Friends of the Nation (FoN), Mr Kyei Yamoah Kwadwo has entreated Journalists to devote much space and time to burning issues be-devilling the fishing industry in Ghana.

He noted that as the fourth estate of the realm, it was the duty of Journalists to play their watchdog role to restore sanity into the fishing industry.

Mr Yamoah was speaking at the end of a-two-day capacity building workshop for selected Journalists from some media houses in Accra.

It was organized by Friends of the Nation and its Far Ban Bo(Protecting Fisheries Livelihoods) partners, Oxfam and Care International with funding from the European Union.

According to Mr Yamoah, the fisheries sector contributes about 10 per cent to Gross Domestic Product ( GDP), but government had not done much to salvage the industry from near collapse.

The workshop was therefore a platform to sensitize the media on Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) issues.
He said Ghana was losing about GHc300m annually on the importation of fish into the country.

He cited teething problems such as Saiko which was perpetrated by industrial pair trawlers in Ghanaian waters, the use of small fishing mono filaments to catch small pelagic, light fishing, use of toxic chemicals among others to catch fish.

Mr Yamoah bemoaned the fast decline of the fish stock and the need for all stakeholders in the fishing industry especially government to address the illegalities in the industry and urged the government to stop interfering in the work of the Fisheries Enforcement Units (FEU) in combatting IUU.

He asked the journalists to exhibit interest in the Fisheries sector to expose the perpetrators of Saiko and other forms of illegalities in fishing in the quest for a sustainable Fisheries governance regime.

The Project Officer of FoN,Mr. Philip Prah said the Far Ban Bo project would continue to monitor IUU fishing and appealed to those in officialdom to stop using their powers to release fishers who are arrested over IUU fishing.

He said the Far Ban Bo project had started assisting fishers to secure fish landing sites at the shore for fishing activities.

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