Health News of Tuesday, 18 February 2014
The Tema Traditional Council (TTC) on Monday said certain fishermen still use chemicals like Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) to kill and collect fish and formalin to preserve them before landing.
“For over a year, we have been monitoring this unorthodox and dangerous fishing practice which started with light fishing. Later it graduated to the use of dynamite, carbide and now a dangerous chemical known as DDT. Another source of worry is the use of formalin to preserve fish during long hours at sea."
Speaking at a press conference in Tema, Nii Shipi Somponu, who represented the Tema Mantse, said “the rate at which the practice is ascending is a clear indication that our fishermen are very ignorant of the menace they are exposed to and the deteriorating future of the fishing industry.
Nii Somponu said his outfit is reliably informed that the Fisheries Commission is equipped with gadgets and expertise to determine the difference between fishes that are caught by orthodox and unorthodox fishing methods, but expressed shock at the lackadaisical attitude of its personnel towards the execution of their duty.
He called on all traditional councils along the coastal belt to join the crusade against unorthodox fishing “for it is a recipe for disaster.”
He said the TTC would liaise with the Marine Police and all stakeholders to ensure proper enforcement of the law to put an end to bad fishing practices.
Nii Somponu cautioned that any fisherman caught indulging in unorthodox fishing would be banned for life, and that means he would never in his lifetime fish around Tema or even land on the beach of Tema.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Nii Odamettey, Awudum Chief Fisherman, said all the chief fishermen are effectively going to organise their people to monitor and expose all the bad elements.