We must protect our fishing industry—Fisheries Minister

By
Alexander Nyarko Yeboah, GNA

Tema Oct 5, GNA – The
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Madam Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has asked
stakeholders to protect the fishing industry as part of measures of
safeguarding food security in Ghana.

“Let’s all come
together and see the fishing industry as ours; let us own it, for when we lose
it, we wouldn’t have it anymore… as stakeholders, we should be interested in
knowing what happens to our fishing industry in Ghana. It’s a natural resource
that we have to protect,” she said.

She made this call on
Thursday during the swearing in ceremony of the newly-elected executives of the
National Fish Stevedores Association (NAFSA) and the inauguration of the Ports
and Harbours Private Security Association (PHAPSA) at the Tema Fishing Harbour.

Madam Quaye observed
that fish remained the cheapest and the preferred protein source with about 75
per cent of total annual production consumed in Ghana, and that the average

per capita fish
consumption is set around 25 kilogrammes which was higher than the world average
of 23 kilogrammes.

She informed that
though fish was a very precious commodity, it was highly perishable.

“There is the need to
maintain it as a good quality raw material. We need to properly handle and
preserve the fish especially during its capture, landing and transporting to the
processing plant or the market, “she said.

She called on all
stake holders to support any call for close season that was geared towards
preserving fishes for the future, adding that, “It’s not to make anybody uncomfortable
or take food from the table, but we want to save our fisheries and the natural
resource that God has given to us.”

Appreciating the need
of the two associations, she said, “I have seen footages of how fishes are
handled at sea and my heart bleeds, and people like you would be the ones to save
the situation. When fishers go out to fish and they do all the wrong things we
would lose our fishes.”

She said, the quality
of fish should not deteriorate at the time of consumption.

“We are consuming a
lot of stale fish; that were not handled properly at the time of harvest and
the time of transporting. We transport our fishes in vehicles that are not right;
we have to transport them in insulated vans to protect our fishes.”

According to her,
these contaminated fishes could account for most sicknesses that affected the
population.

The Deputy Minister of
Transport, Mr. Daniel Titus Glove bemoaned the bad odour that had come to
characterize the fishing harbour due to the poor handling of fish and therefore
called for a clean up.

The General Manager,
Tema Fishing Harbour, Mr. Kumi Adjei-Sam, in responding to the state of the
Tema Fishing Harbour, said, “We have started a process to modernize and develop
the canoe basin. It was a traditional landing base so a lot of the structures
there were put up haphazardly, and we want to change that. Our vision is to be
a modern fishing landing harbour with good sanitation and well defined
facilities.”

He also informed of
the need to have a strong fishing community by strengthening the various
associations that fell under the Harbour which included the NASFA and PHAPSA.

GNA

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