Increase in fishing license fees affects industry – Ghana Tuna said
Mr. Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio, a fisheries advocate, said the astronomical increase in fishing license fees affects the operations of fishing vessels in the country, and called for a review to restore hope to the industry .
He said the situation was not only affecting the fishing industry, but also had a negative impact on vessel operations in Ghana’s territorial waters.
He said that in Ghana, $ 135 per Registered Gross Tonnage (GRT), an increase from $ 35 per GRT, was charged on the weight of their vessels, adding that such high fees were affecting their operations.
Mr Amarfio, who is also the COO of Laif Fisheries, told the âGhana News Agency-Tema Regional Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue,â which is a group platform of reflection on the media allowing commercial and commercial operators to communicate with the world.
He cited that Senegal had just acquired its own flagged vessels and that they paid a moderate charge of $ 20 per gross tonnage.
He added that the vessels which left Ghana for Sierra Leone and Liberia for fishing paid around $ 60,000 per year, and comparatively it was not fair for Ghanaian operators to pay such high fees. .
Apart from that, he said the cost of running the ships was a major issue as their fuel was deregulated with increasing costs, adding that some ships were spending around $ 50,000 on fuel, a situation affecting their operations.
The government, he said, needed broad stakeholder engagement, especially with vessel operators (tuna vessels and trawlers) to gain an understanding of the fishing industry, as this would allow it to know and appreciate some of their challenges firsthand and find appropriate solutions.
According to him, anchovies (a species of Palegal fish) used as bait for harvesting tuna were available, but the harvesting method was difficult as they were needed as bait and not as target fish, which required a slight attraction.
“We need about 50 kilograms of anchovies per trip and a few light attractions to use as bait,” he added, and explained that using light as attractions to get bait for fishing would save time and money.
“But if you have to spend two weeks in the field looking for bait, how much time are you going to spend fishing, and because it’s for a fortnight, the bait is stressed and you may need to going back to the fishing ground without being alive anchovies and will start the whole process, âhe explained.
He said governments, faced with such challenges, should give operators administrative permission to use light to catch bait, saying that in the future, research should be done on how they could practice the bait. ‘bait farming in a mariculture to be supplied to ships.
Mr Amarfio, who is also an industry player, further suggested that a stakeholder forum on how to revive the sector was needed, explaining that there was also a need to increase Ghanaian participation in the sector, with the government providing additional support in terms of loans for the acquisition of vessels.
Mr. Francis Ameyibor, regional director of Tema of the GNA, for his part said, as a new industrial hub, we have seen the need to involve industry players on national issues to educate the public.
“As an industrial news hub, GNA-Tema has created a platform for use by industrial players, allowing other stakeholders to proactively connect while serving as a ground for dealing with issues. national issues, âhe said.
He said it was common knowledge that a lot has happened at sea and in the fishing industry that the public needs more information about, hence the need to engage the GTA to shed light on its sector.
Mr. Ameeibor explained that the activities at sea were one of the most dynamic but underestimated by the media. Therefore, the Agency had created a platform to provide stakeholders with an information channel to reach the world.
He noted that GNA-Tema’s office, dubbed the Industrial News Hub, seeks to fill the lack of ocean news, the need for better reporting on sea and fishing issues, as life at sea affects the means general livelihood of the people, because the level of fish consumption in the country was large.