?.. Sector Minister Cautioned Fishermen
The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Hon. Sherry Ayittey has condemned the recent attacks on the Fisheries Enforcement Unit [FEP] personnel who were engaged in their lawful duties at a village called Akplabanya in the Ada District.
This she said , the people who engaged in such criminal acts by attacking the personnel during the fishery protection duties will be arrested and also face law accordingly.
The sector Minister made this remark during a press briefing in Accra. According to her, a similar event took place at New Amanful , a suburb of Takoradi. According to her , in the process of arresting some illegal nets, monofilament nets which is being used in clear disregard of the existing regulations, the team was attacked with stones, sticks and various projectiles.
This she said, resulted in the injury of Policemen and the Navy Personnel. Adding that, vehicles belonging to the Ministries of Defence and Fisheries were vandalized. ” Whenthe Fisheries Act 625 was passed in the year 2002 to govern the fisheries industry of Ghana , a key feature of this Act was Section 94, which established the Monitoring , Control , Surveillance and Enforcement Unit of the Fisheries Commission. The law does not recognized only the staff of my ministry as the fisheries enforcement officers but also the staff of other ministries as well ” Sheexplained.
She added that the empowerment makes the Fisheries Enforcement Unit to beformed in October last year. This she noted is an inter agency unit comprising personnel of Ghana Navy and Air Force from the Ministry of Defence , the Marine Police from the Ministry of Interior, lawyers from the Attorney-General’s Department . Others she noted are Investigators from the BNI and other agencies whose assistance may be needed in the course of their duties.
She indicated that, the work of Fisheries Enforcement is to ensure a sustainable management of the nation’s fisheries resources. This she said the Unit has been working assiduously to inject some sanity into the fishing industry through the activities of the sea patrols with Ghana Navy ships and boats , land patrols with vehicles .According to her the Unit will continue to work diligently to put a stop to the use of illegal nets, monofilament nets and Illegal Unreported and Unregulated [IUU] fishing which is turning the country into a net importer of fish. She however, cautioned all fishermen to halt attacking the FEU teams and rather collaborate with them in order to restore sanity into the fishing industry
” My Ministry is undertaking several projects with the interest of fishermen as the motivation. A modern cold store is under construction at Elimina . We are also in the process of building similar facilities at other places” she noted.
Source: BY: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo