Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, has disclosed that government is re-evaluating the laws and policies regulating the sector.
According to her, a New Fisheries Act is being drafted to replace the existing Act whiles a new National Fisheries Management Plan is underway since the previous one expired in 2019. Also, she noted that the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy, which was developed in 2008, will be reviewed.
She explained that the reviews “are to ensure that the management of the fisheries resources meet emerging trends in fisheries management and international best practices”.
Mavis Koomson further concerted to the fact that the fisheries sector is riddled with many problems. Following this, she called on stakeholders, including the media, fisher folks and the citizenry, to help the Ministry clamp down on illegal fishing. The fisheries minister insisted that this is the only way to safeguard the country’s shores for the next generation.
Patrol boats for security personnel
Also, the fisheries minister revealed that the government is acquiring four boats to help the security agencies guard the marine life.
This, she noted, will help security personnel to ward off fishers who aim to exploit the country’s sea waters illegally.
“The four patrol boats will be deployed in each of the four coastal regions; central, Greater Accra, Volta and Western Regions, for frequent inspection at sea, offshore and for prompt response to detecting infringements at the VMS centres”.Mavis Koomson
Trove of fishes washed ashore beaches is a natural occurrence
Touching on the issue of washing ashore of fishes and dolphins across beaches in the country, Madam Koomson described it as a natural phenomenon. She revealed that there is nothing the Ministry or government can do to prevent a repeating in the future.
“So, we all know this natural occurrence there’s nothing we can do about it unless the creator himself decides to do the correction. We cannot do the correction.
“Ours is to find out and so the investigation and know what exactly the problem is. If it is a natural occurrence, there’s nothing we can do”.Mavis Koomson
It will be recalled that on 4th of April, there were reports of fish kills at the Osu Castle beach, and on Sunday, April 6th dolphins were also reported beached on the shores of Brewire-Akyenim beach, a landing site in Nzema East Municipality in the Western Region.
All the dolphins were beached alive and twenty-one were rescued.
Commenting on this, the fisheries minister mentioned that a similar incident had occurred in other parts of the world. As such, the phenomenon one of international concern.
“It happens as, at that time, it wasn’t only in Ghana; other countries also experienced it. So, for example, Mexico also experienced the same thing.
“So, it’s a natural occurrence, and there is nothing we can do, but we only know the causes of the kills”.Mavis Koomson
Environmentalists have attributed the cause to hypoxia – the phenomenon where high ocean temperatures cause inadequate oxygen supply in the sea.
Fishermen and environmentalists have revealed that high levels of contamination in the water may have also been a factor in the recent incident.
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