Juvenile fish catch: Collapsing artisanal fishery

Mr. Isaac Nana Kweigyah
Mr. Isaac Nana Kweigyah

The competition from industrial vessels with canoes over the small pelagic species has become so intense, denying artisanal fishers catch, income and adequate standard of living.

Mr. Isaac Nana Kweigyah , the National President of Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana (CaFGOAG) has said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Cape Coast.

He said artisanal fisheries in particular was fast collapsing due to the widespread Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

He indicated that IUU fishing had been the bane of Ghana’s fisheries, and continues to harm the fishery and fisheries livelihoods of fishing communities.

In spite of the efforts by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) and the Fisheries Commission (FC), he said IUU fishing remains widespread within Industrial vessels across all sectors of Ghana’s fisheries.

“Fishers in response have resorted to harmful fishing methods and practices to get catch, resulting in widespread illegalities in artisanal fisheries which is contributing to the collapse of the sector”.

Nana Kweigyah indicated that CaFGOAG were putting in measures to partner MoFAD, FC, Marine Police, and other stakeholders to form Community Anti IUU Monitoring Groups adding that all must support to seeing IUU free fishing in Ghana

Mr. Kenneth Arthur, the Secretary to the Association said at a recent engagement with canoe and gear owners there were general consensus on the need for all to come on board to direct fishers in the right way to go.

“We are now waging war against the harvesting of juvenile fishes, and the use of explosives and obnoxious chemicals in fishing because it is gradually destroying the sector and would render us jobless soon”.

Mr. Arthur who is also representative of the Association in the Central Region said they would visit each fishing community to engage fishers and canoe owners and their bosons on the consequences of the illegalities and the need to stop the practices.

He said to sustain the engagements, they would monitor fishers and report offenders to appropriate authorities to ensure that offenders were sanctioned or punished.

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