An eight-member Task Force that will enforce fisheries law and regulations has been inaugurated in Accra.
The Task Force will help improve enforcement of the required conditions for the renewal of fishing license for fishing vessels in accordance with Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625), Fisheries Regulations, 2010 (L.I 1968), Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act 880) and the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (L.I 2217).
It is also expected to inspect sanitary and hygienic conditions to ascertain if they meet minimum sanitary conditions, inspect the cabins and washroom facilities and safety equipment to ascertain if they are sufficient for the crew, inspect radio and communication equipment, fishing gear, validity of fishing license, fishing logbooks, validity of insurance for hull, machinery and crew members as well as assess if a vessel has met the required conditions for undertaking fishing trip.
Members of the Task Force are Naval Captain Emmanuel Kwafo (Ghana Navy), Samuel Dudu Manu (Post Harvest, Fisheries Commission), Rebecca Sackey-Mensah (Marine Fisheries Management Division), Enoch Boadu Amo (Ministry Of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development), Jeremiah Amoah, Mavis Afoley Odai, Nana Abrokwah Asare and Michael Asiamah.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, yesterday, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Madam Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, expressed concern about the continuous illegal fishing practices, especially at the marine coastal fishing landing sites, in spite of efforts by the Fisheries Enforcement Unit (FEU).
Madam Quaye said it had become impossible for the FEU to enforce fisheries law and regulations considering that there were over 300 and 2000 landing sites, respectively, along the marine coast and the Volta Lake, hence the need to set up a task force on the inspection of fishing vessels.
She, therefore, charged the task force to be strong and courageous in carrying out the mandate spelt out in the terms of preference in order to achieve the desired results and restore sanity into the fishing industry.
She, however, cautioned them to be guided by the principles of the rule of law so as not to take law into their own hands.
Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)