Navy Officers, Fishermen Trade Blows

Some navy personnel and fishermen at the shore of the Tema Fishing Harbour

IRATE FISHERMEN at Tema Newtown on Thursday clashed with members of a government taskforce mandated to enforce the ban on light fishing and other unorthodox fishing methods in the country.

The taskforce, mainly made up of naval officers, were allegedly pelted with stones when they attempted to seize generators and other accessories purportedly used in light fishing.

Two fishermen were apprehended in the tango between the security officers and the civilians and were sent to the Eastern Naval Command at Tema Newtown. It took the intervention of the metropolitan chief executive (MCE) of Tema, Isaac Ashai Odamtten, to get the fishermen released from the custody of the navy.

Some of the fishermen threatened, ‘If the naval personnel do not stop harassing us we will face them just like we did today.’

Nii Mator, Tema metropolitan chief fisherman, explained to DAILY GUIDE that the naval personnel, on their arrival at the Tema Fishing Harbour, seized a generator from a local boat operator without any verification as to whether he was using it for light fishing or not.

He said when the fisherman tried to prevent the confiscation of the items, he was assaulted by a member of the taskforce; and this gave rise to the fracas.

‘The fisherman called some of his colleagues to the scene and the crowd became thicker, compelling the taskforce members, made up of navy personnel, to also call for reinforcement.

‘The fishermen said they would not allow them to take the generator away and held firmly to it. Then they started pelting stones at the naval officers because they (officers) threatened to shoot them,’ narrated Nii Mator.

Several attempts to speak to Lt Della Dornyo, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Eastern Naval Command, proved futile as she refused to answer calls made to her mobile telephone.

Navy officers at the command turned away the DAILY GUIDE reporter when he made an effort to speak with the authorities.

From Vincent Kubi, Tema


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