Industrial vessel registration requirements to be reviewed | General news
The requirements for the registration of industrial fishing vessels or trawlers should be reviewed to address shortcomings in the operation of foreign-owned vessels in the territorial waters of the country.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Minister Mavis Hawa Koomson, who said this yesterday in Accra, added that the review of the licensing regime was part of the measures taken to eliminate “straw men” or ” foreign beneficiary owners of the fishery. industry to prevent illegal fishing and increase revenue generation for the sector.
Ms Koomson, speaking at the ministerial press conference series, said that due to the ban on foreign vessels from industrially fishing in the country, some companies were using questionable means, such as concluding hire-purchase agreements with local entities and other vehicles for use, to be operated.
“We are aware of their activities, and that is why we are working on the licensing requirements and the reason why industrial ships have not yet been allowed to go to sea,” she added.
The minister also gave assurances that the government would begin this year paying the salaries of observers sent on vessels to monitor industrial fishing activities in order to enable them to exercise their mandate without fear or favor.
“If we have to rely on our officers, that means the ships would have been working on shifts. So they (the ship owners) decided that they would make the payment, so that they could all be at sea at the same time.
“But now we are planning to take the responsibility of paying the observers, because if you have to watch someone and report the person, and the same person is the one paying you, then there will be difficulties,” a- she declared.
Season closure compliance
Ms Koomson said there was strong compliance across all fishing communities during the month-long closed fishing season this year.
She said, however, that there had been a few incidents of infringement in some fishing communities, which led to the arrest and prosecution of five fishermen.
For example, she said, some fishermen from Elmina in the central region continued their illegal fishing activities, especially light fishing and transshipment at sea, a practice known as “Saiko”, and therefore refused to accept relief items.
She said that through the Fisheries Enforcement Unit of the Fisheries Commission, Ghanaian Navy and Maritime Police, non-compliant fishermen were arrested in Sekondi, Benyin and Esiama (all in the western region).
“Suspects are prosecuted to have a deterrent effect on others,” Ms. Koomson said.
The minister said her equipment, through the Premix Fuel Secretariat, continued to provide subsidized premixes to the landing beaches.
“A total of 52.92 million liters of premix were supplied between January and June 2021, while illegal activities, such as the diversion of premixes and hoarding, have decreased significantly,” she said.
According to her, the ministry also undertook a mass vaccination of cage fish farms at a cost of GH ¢ 4 million to contain the spread of fish disease in 2019.
“This intervention led to an increase in aquaculture production from 52,350 tonnes in 2019 to 64,004 tonnes in 2020,” she said.
The minister also said that Ghana was chosen by the ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) to host the seventh meeting scheduled for Accra from April 5 to 8, 2022.
The theme will be: “OACPS Agenda 2030 for the Blue Economy – Catalyzing the Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture for the Future”.
The meeting was established to facilitate the implementation of the Fisheries Mechanism established in 2009.
“The Fisheries Mechanism aims to strengthen the key role that fisheries and aquaculture play in the socio-economic development of the Member States, as well as to address the challenges facing the sector in the Member States.
“It also provides a platform for key stakeholders to discuss relevant issues related to the sector, including climate change, ocean pollution and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” she said. added.
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