Establish banks to support the fishing industry – Amarh Amarfio
Mr. Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio, Secretary of the Ghana Tuna Association, called for the creation of fishing banks to support the operations of industry players.
He said most banks did not have a good understanding of the fishing industry for making loans for its operations, which had caused some companies to close their doors.
Mr Amarfio, also COO of Laif Fisheries, said this during the Ghana News Agency’s Tema Regional Industrial News Hub dialogue, which is a media think tank platform for business operators and commercial.
He said: “Fishing companies don’t have access to loans and even though the banks have given loans, the interest rates are way beyond what the companies can handle.”
Mr Amarfio explained that some of the pole-and-line vessels were around 45 years old, so their operation was very expensive due to the high maintenance costs.
“These vessels are operated by Koreans, Japanese and a few Chinese, the law allows 50/50 joint ventures and all tuna captains are mostly Korean. It is expensive to hire a foreign captain, ”he said.
“You have to pay your crew and provide them with food for the period they will be at sea, that is, between 35 and 40 days, the water collected at the port is paid in dollars, the mooring is paid in dollars and all that we do at the port is pegged to the dollar.
Mr. Amarfio called on the government to support the sector to increase Ghanaian participation in the process of acquiring new vessels.
Mr. Francis Ameeibor, Tema regional director of the GNA, said the dialogue served as an essential platform for trade and industry stakeholders to engage the media on national issues.
He explained that activities at sea were dynamic but under-reported, hence the Agency’s initiative to create a platform to provide stakeholders with a channel to reach the public.
The dialogue aimed to help fill the “information gap on the ocean and improve reporting on fishing and other activities at sea to improve livelihoods,” he said.