THE Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD), Madam Elisabeth Afoley Quaye has debunked the allegation that she was encouraging Saiko fishing among fishermen.
Saiko fishing is an illegal form of fishing where trawlers stayed put on the sea, catch fish meant for small-scale fishermen and sell them to cannon fishermen out at sea.
According to Madam Afoley Quaye, Saiko was precipitating the collapse of Ghana's staple fish stock, and made fishers suffer poverty and hunger, therefore she would never encourage such activity, "which I have she have condemned over the years."
She made these remarks in Accra on Wednesday at the closing of the second Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment, which more than 200 national and international stakeholders in the fisheries sector attended the three-day event themed, 'Fisheries and coastal governance in contemporary times'.
It was organised by USAID Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) and the USAID-University of Cape Coast's Fisheries and Coastal Management and Capacity Building Project (USAID-UCC/FCMCBP) in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission.
The conference was to highlight achievements, opportunities, lessons learnt and key challenges associated with the implementation of the two aforementioned fisheries projects under the USAIDs Feed the Future Assistance to Ghana.
The two projects, implemented over the last four years were aimed at helping to reduce poverty and secure national food security and nutrition.
Madam Afoley Quaye said she had called a meeting with stakeholders involved in the illegal act to educate them on the right way of fishing.
She said the consequences of the Saiko fishing was the rapid decline of Ghana's inshore fishery, which millions of people depended on for their livelihoods.
She said Ghana would soon get a research vessel where Ghanaian researchers would have the ability to research into fishing related issues.
The Acting Deputy Mission director at USAID-Ghana, Janean Davis said his outfit would continue to collaborate and provide technical assistance to revamp and reinvigorate the fisheries sector to put Ghana's fisheries on the path of sustainability and profitability.