Regional News of Friday, 8 August 2003

Source: GNA

Fishermen unhappy about lack of adequate storage facilities

Elmina (C/R), Aug. 8, GNA - Two fishermen at Cape Coast and Elmina, on Thursday expressed concern about the lack of adequate cold storage facilities in the two towns, to store excess fish during the bumper season.

The two men, Papa Neekyir of Elmina and Okyeame Kobina Ebumfi, Chief Linguist to the Chief Fisherman of Cape Coast, and also a fisherman, expressed this concern in separate interviews with the GNA at Cape Coast and Elmina.

They expressed regret that the situation had led to a large amount of fish going waste in the current bumper season, which began in July and is expected to last through August.

They said all efforts to get assistance from successive governments to provide high capacity storage facilities had yielded no positive results and that all they had been hearing were "empty assurances". Papa Neekyir was particularly unhappy that large catches had already gone waste, this bumper season, which is recording larger catches than last year.

He said a big tray of herrings was now being sold at between 30,000 cedis and 40,000 cedis, as against 200,000 cedis during the same period last year.

He appealed to the government to expedite action on the construction of the Elmina Fishing Harbour to help boost fishing in the area.

The Principal Technical Advisor at the Department of Fisheries, Mr Alexander Amoah, corroborated the statement of the two fishermen that this year's bumper catch far exceeded that of last year.

He could, however, not tell what plans the Department had to help store excess fish during the bumper season.