The Ghana Canoe and Gear Owners Association is calling for greater transparency on the threats currently facing fishers in Ghana and the steps being taken to address them in order to save the sector.
A statement issued by the Association and signed by its President, Nana Kweigyah, among others, called for broader stakeholder commitments and a lasting solution to relevant shortages of pre-blended fuel.
The statement is part of activities to celebrate this year’s International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, which falls on November 21 each year.
He also underscored the importance of the fisheries sector to the Ghanaian economy and the need to ensure its proper functioning to cushion and empower the coastal population who largely depend on it.
“In Ghana, it was a time of awakening among artisanal fishers to the opportunities that small-scale fishing offers to coastal dwellers; men and women, and young people in particular. The IYAFA provided artisanal fishers in Ghana with an important opportunity to highlight the challenges facing the sector and to empower stakeholders to create new and strengthen existing partnerships to support the sector.
The statement went on to praise the progress and actions the Fisheries Commission has taken so far.
“Recent interventions by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MoFAD), Fisheries Commission (FC) and partners to improve regulation (e.g. legislative review), enforcement (e.g. amendment of trawling gear, among others) and planned gear exchanges in the artisanal fisheries sector, give hope that with strong collaborations among stakeholders, the current poor situation can be improved.
The Association recognized that while some progress has been made in addressing the many challenges facing the sector, much more needs to be done to ensure the livelihoods of its members are protected.
“As an association, CaFGOAG recognizes the enormous contributions of stakeholders in the areas of improving the governance and management of Ghana’s fisheries. This, we urge stakeholders to continue excessively, especially in the face of emerging threats, small-scale fishing, associated with debt swaps and the blue economy, which also offer opportunities but need a sufficient political will and commitment to exploit these opportunities and avoid disasters. consequences for artisanal fishing.
He further indicated that the shortages of pre-mixed fuel at the various landing beaches are causing apprehensions among his members and demanded an urgent resolution.
“We also draw the attention of the Government to the fact that the discontinuation of the supply of pre-mixed fuel without affordable alternative fuel readily available to small-scale fishers has caused much apprehension among the small-scale fishing fraternity, including the fishers, processors and fishworkers, and it is important for MoFAD and the Pre-Blended Fuels Secretariat to urgently engage fishers on the way forward.