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Minister tells fishermen to collect plastics for money during ban on fishing

By Maame Aba Afful
Fisheries Minister tells fishermen to collect plastic bags for money as an alternative
Fisheries Minister tells fishermen to collect plastic bags for money as an alternative

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, Elizabeth Afoley has said the ministry has put in place measures to reduce the negative impact of the close season of fishing on fishermen in the country.

 The minister, who was speaking on the floor of Parliament, stated that an alternative livelihood scheme will be implemented for fishermen during the close season period which will last from August 7 to September 5, 2018.

 Mrs. Foley stated: “To mitigate the negative impact of the closed season, the following measures have been put in place: Alternative livelihood committee has helped selected communities to implement alternative livelihood schemes. Example; collecting and processing of plastic for money.

“Landing beach committees are to use some mixed portions of the 53% of the premix fuel margins meant for development, to all fishers identified within their landing beach committees.”

According to her, the Closed Season for August 2018 is in the interest of Ghanaian fishers, particularly the artisanal fishermen, who are experiencing low catches in recent years and considering the cushioning measures established the negative impact would be mitigated.

The alternative provided has however not gone down well with some fishermen who have rejected the directive.

A representative of a group of fishermen at the Elmina Landing Beach, Kwabena Badu speaking in a radio interview said, " The interventions introduced are not what we are asking for. These measures cannot replace what we are going to lose at the end of the day.”

Another fisherman in the Elmina Area stated, “Clearly the Minister doesn’t know what she is doing. These interventions cannot sustain fishermen in anyway and we reject them.”

He added: “We have indicated our position that the timing of the ban is wrong and also the duration is problematic for us. These are the issues they must address.”

Members of the Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association at the Albert Bosomtwe Sam Fishing Harbor in Sekondi on July 13, 2018, embarked on a demonstration against government's decision to place a ban on fishing activities for the month of August 2018.

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