Flight Lieutenant Miltiades Nii Tackey (rtd), President, National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG), has accused the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture of undermining the growth and progress of local fisher folks.
According to him, instead of developing the capacity of Ghanaian fishermen to improve their lot, it was rather siphoning and diverting funds donated by the World Bank for capacity building and boat yard repairs.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema, Flt Lt Nii Tackey said, “The World Bank gave us One Million dollars for capacity building and 250,000 dollars for repairing the boat yard but the Fishing Ministry took away the money and gave us one pick up. Now the boat yard has been left to rot.”
When the Ghana News Agency contacted the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Karimatu Anas, she said she was not authorized to speak on the issue.
The NAFAC President blamed the dwindling fortunes of the local fishing industry on the persistent intervention of politicians of the past and present.
“Ghana as a country has the best fishing laws in the whole of Africa, but for political expediency, some politicians have managed to disregard the laid down regulations in the fishing industry with impunity.
When people voilate the law, they come to set them free. These politicians encourage even the use of unauthorized gear and other tools because they are always there to protect their own. We have played too much politics with our fishing laws and management which has made the laws very difficult to implement, “he stated.
The NAFAG president further stated that currently, the over 15,000 canoes operating in Ghana were over bearing for the industry.
He noted that there were laws that regulated the activities of trolling in the country, adding that the law did not allow foreigners to solely engage in trolling but rather in, partnership with Ghanaian nationals.
Mr Gilbert Sam, Project Coordinator, NAFAC, said, it was about time government paid critical attention to the fishing industry.
He noted that section 47 of the Fishery act, Act 625 made it very difficult for Ghanaians to buy and own their vessels.
Mr Sam further noted that Ghana did not have the expertise to practice good fishing culture, hence the need to do partnerships to gain the needed skills in fishing.
He cautioned that fisher folks who still used dynamites, carbides, DDT and other obnoxious substances for their catch, must stop and respect the laws of Ghana.
Over 2.5 million people are actively employed in Ghana’s fishing industry.