Stakeholders at a day’s forum on the petroleum exploration and production bill in Takoradi have called on the Jubilee Partners to demarcate an exclusive zone at sea to prevent fishermen from fishing close to the oil installations to ensure their safety.
They noted that although fishermen had been banned from fishing 500 metres away from the oil installations such as the Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility, there was no indication of preventing fishermen from fishing further.
The stakeholders, who spoke in turns, said fishermen were, therefore, tempted to fish closer to the facilities because they generated light to attract more fish, a move which resulted in their arrest by the Marine task force who normally seized their fishing gear and prosecuted them, while some even lost their lives. Jubilee Partners
The Jubilee Partners include Tullow Ghana, major operators, Kosmos Energy, the Ghana National Petroleum Company, Anadarko Petroleum and Petro S.A. Forum
It was jointly organised by Friends of the Nation (FON), a Takoradi-based NGO on the environment; the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) and the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC) for fisherfolk, traditional rulers, civil society and representatives of coastal communities along the Jubilee field in the Western Region.
The forum was aimed at discussing and collating inputs from the participants to be factored into the petroleum, exploration and production bill for review of some inconsistencies before presentation to Parliament for a debate and passage into law.
It was held on the theme, “Contributing to Oil/Gas Governance getting the Laws Right”. Canoe fishermen
Mr John Eshun, an executive member of the GNCFC suggested to the Jubilee partners to use buoys for the demarcation, as those were visible.
A Communications Officer of Tullow Oil Limited, Mr Kennedy Nunoo,told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that red flags had been installed at the exclusive zone at sea to warn fishermen of the facilities ahead.
He said the claim by the fishermen was, therefore, untenable.
Mr Kwaku Kyei, an executive member of FON, said the organisers of the programme would engage the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines/Energy for discussion of the subject matter before debate on the bill start.
Dr Mohammed Anim Adam, the Executive Director of the ACEP, underscored the need for Ghana to learn from successful oil producing countries in vital areas such as environmental management, usage of the oil revenue, regulation on the oil/gas contract and transparency/accountability.
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