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Business News of Sunday, 22 January 2012

Source: myjoyonline

Licensing of new fishing vessels to be suspended

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), on Friday said issuing of new fishing licenses and replacement of old vessels had been suspended with effect from Wednesday, February this year, until further notice.

A statement signed by Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Sector Minister, copied to GNA in Accra, said: "This suspension also affects permit to import and operate fishing vessels. It is hoped that stakeholders and operators of the fishing industry and the general public will bear with MOFA in this matter until our marine resources improve as we implement these conservation measures."

It said as part of the West African Regional Fisheries Programme to conserve and manage the fisheries resources in a sustainable manner, MOFA was aligning the fishing fleet capacity with available fisheries resources to avoid over-exploitation.

As a strategy to achieve the objective of the Ghana Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector Development Plan, MOFA though the Fisheries Commission has with effect from Tuesday, January 3, 2012 embarked on measures to remove all inactive industrial and semi-industrial fishing vessels from the fisheries licensing register.

Others measures were to audit and inspect the remaining industrial and semi-industrial fishing vessels for compliance with the Fisheries Act 2002, Act 625, Fisheries Regulation 2010 (LI 1968), existing health and safety regulations as well as licence condition, and revoke the fishing licences of vessels that remain non-compliant.