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General News of Friday, 12 April 2019

Source: XYZ

Fishing ban: Akufo-Addo’s Gov’t insensitive to the poor - Vanderpuye

The member of Parliament for Odododiodoo, Mr Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has critcised the government over an impending fishing ban.

The ban on fishing this season officially starts from May 15th and ends on June 15, 2019. For industrial trawlers, the ban takes effect from August 1st to 30 September. The ban on Tuna fishing has been observed already from January 1st to February 28.

According to Fisheries Minister Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, who said the decision was taken in collaboration with all key stakeholders who have pledged to comply and also help to enforce the directives.

Dubbed ‘close season’, the ban according to the fisheries ministry is to save some species of fishes such as mackerel, anchovies, and others that are going into extinction in the country’s waters due to poor fishing practices.

The ban has met stiff opposition from hundreds of fisher folks along the coast of the Greater Accra Region. They say the government’s decision will deny them their “daily bread” since they have no alternative source livelihood when the ban is implemented.

But in an interview with Kwame Minkah on Ete Sen on Radio XYZ 93.1, Mr Lantey Vanderpuye who says many of his constituents are fisher folks, blamed the government for the fishing ban.

“This government is not sensitive to the plights of poor people in this country,” Mr Vanderpuye averred while raising concerns over the implementing of the ban without an extensive consultation.

The former Sports Minister said his constituents would be deprived of their source of livelihoods without enrolling the fishermen onto another programme that will enable them feed their families.

Fisheries Minister Elizabeth Afoley Quaye at a press conference disclosed that her outfit had an extensive consultation with inshore and artisanal fishermen before announcing the date for the fishing ban.

However, Mr Vanderpuye disagreed, indicating that if the government had engaged them well, they would not have raised issues with the government’s decision.

“This government does things anyhow…They don’t listen to anybody and this is very bad,” he jibed Minister for Fisheries.

Mr Vanderpuye said if he had his way, he would tell the fishermen at Ada, Dixcove, Cape 3 Point to defy the ban so as to be able to feed their families.

Last year an attempt to enforce the ban backfired. It was met with angry protests and open threats by various groups of fisher folks who described the timing last August and September as wrong. They said it would affect their expected income during the bumper season.

The ban is generally intended to allow fishes, in general, to breed thereby increasing their stock to sustain the local fishing industry.

The close season law was passed in 2002 and it is mandatory for the fisheries sector to observe it.