Ghanaians fronting for Chinese to carry out illegal fishing activities

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Fishing Vessel

A report by a natural resource economist has revealed that the 76 fishing trolleys operating in Ghana which is supposed to be fully owned by Ghanaians have only one Ghanaian company operating in the industry.

Prof. Wisdom Akpalu said the situation has been the same over the years and no attempt by authorities to deal with it.

According to him, 75 out of the 76 fishing trolleys in the country have Ghanaians fronting for the Chinese companies to carry out the illegal activities in the fishing industry.

“This situation has existed for quite some time now is not something of a recent origin, troll vessels are supposed to be owned by Ghanaians that is the law, some Ghanaians go into some kind of high purchase contract with foreigners, the vessel definitely has to be registered or be in the name of Ghanaians so what they do is that you have a Ghanaian who maybe find a way to get a license and invite a Chinese vessel..”

He lament about the situation saying: “when you have foreign vessels fishing in our waters they don’t care much about the sustainability of the resource, every renewable resource like fish stock are supposed to be extracted in a way that the rate at which the resource is extracted does not exceed the rate at which the resource replenish itself.”

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Still on the danger the situation posed to the industry, the natural resource economist and President of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Prof. Wisdom Akpalu added that in most cases the foreign troll vessels know they will be in Ghana for a short period of time so it is in their interest to ensure that they extract as much as possible and these definitely will lead to a decline in the stock which we are currently experiencing.

Ghana currently consumes 950 thousand metric tonnes of fish annually with 60 per cent being imported fish, in 2016 the country imported 135m metric tonnes of fish to curb the reduction in the country's fish stock.

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