The Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to direct all industrial pair trawlers to land their catches at the two designated ports of Tema and Takoradi as was done in 2018.
The move, the Council noted, will help the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission officers to assess the landings of the trawlers and to identify vessels with juveniles or small pelagics.
The Council said the presence of observers on the vessels, the CCTV cameras onboard and the Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) of the Monitoring and Control Surveillance Device (MCSD) would ensure that the trawlers did not dump their catch on the high seas.
The appeal was contained in a statement issued by Western Regional Chairman of the GNCFC, Nana Emmanuel Odwire and Regional Secretary, Mr Mike Abakah-Edu after a meeting at Axim.
The statement said if such measures were taken by the President “it will compel the trawlers to catch what they have been licensed to catch” and put to rest the illegal transhipment at sea otherwise known as “Saiko”.
The Council noted that Saiko was one of the most damaging forms of illegal fishing, which deprived thousands of fishers and the dependents of their livelihoods and thereby threatening Ghana’s food security.
The Council, therefore, extended its appreciation to President Nana Akufo-Addo for his confirmation during his recent tour to the Central Region that “Saiko is illegal and his government is committed to ending it to save the livelihoods of the over 2.7 million Ghanaians who depend on fishing”.
The GNCFC also commended President Nana Akufo-Addo on the key steps his government had taken to strengthen the enforcement units to improve their efficiency in enforcing the laws.