Opesika Tetteh Puplampu
Kasseh(GAR), Aug.15, GNA - Canoe Chief fishermen in the Dangme East District Zone 4 are calling on the government to regulate activities of trawlers especially, Chinese flagged vessels, to save the fishing industry from imminent collapse.
According to them, local canoe fishermen whose catch is insignificant as compared to trawlers, were always subjected to strict enforcement of the law and harassment.
The Chief fishermen, numbering eleven (11) had interacted with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of their monthly meeting at Kasseh in the Ada East District.
Nene Joseph Agamah IV, Chief Fisherman of Goi, who is also the Vice Chairman, Greater Accra Regional Chief fishermen Association, said although the strict enforcement of the law was curbing bad fishing practices like the use of monofilament nets, dynamite, Carbide, lesser inched nets to catch fingerlings, light fishing and other malpractices at sea, the trawlers, which were the big players were spared the whip.
Nene Atteh Sarpor, II, Chief Fisherman, Ado-Foah Lolonyakope, sad 'Instead of the Marine Police, Navy, and other government agency, enforcing laws on fishing, some fishermen have taken the law into their hands and molesting others.
Some have armed themselves with matchettes, knives, stones, ground pepper as they beat up fellow fishermen, injuring some in the process,"he said.
He said, "A Prampram canoe came close to our shores to fish and run out of fuel so they decided to land at Ada-Foah to refuel. The community members nearly beat them up to avenge the harassment that our local fishermen endure at the hands of Prampram fishermen who accuse us of doing light fishing.
In fact, if I had not been called to the scene, it would have been bloody. We have become our own enemies visiting mayhem on each other, resulting in a vicious cycle of vendatta,"he said.
On the fishing close season, some of the chief fishermen said it was helpful to them, whiles others saw it as a distraction.
The proponents of the ban asked government to conduct a scientific research on the close season to inform policy direction.GNA