The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) has held a validation workshop on safety and decent work in Ghana’s fisheries sector.
The workshop brought together stakeholders across Ghana’s fishing sector to discuss options and obstacles to achieving safety and decent working conditions for all fish workers in Ghana.
This comes on the back of increasing concerns of social sustainable issues in fisheries within the West African coastline.
Dr. Vanessa Jaiteh from the University of Nottingham and hosted by the FCWC conducted a study examining labour conditions and safety concerns of fishers in Ghana’s artisanal, semi-industrial and industrial sectors and this served as the cornerstone for the day’s deliberations.
She said in an interview with an Eye on Port that, “our data shows 97% of industrial fishers do not have contracts and it is not much different in the semi-industrial sector. Their contracts are often like verbal agreements, so they are not formal.
“I believe it is in violation of Ghana’s labour laws and that is something that needs to be addressed. Because without contracts the crew will not know what they are going to be paid. So, they back to shore before finding out what they are going to be paid.”
One fisher, Bright Tsai shared some of common sufferings of sailors in the industrial, and semi-industrial sector.
He told Eye on Port that the creation of unions have largely been discouraged by their superiors.
“Our crew managers put fair in the boatswains against joining unions. We are cautioned that we will have to take jobs from the union if we join them. Many of us have been sacked due to our union issues.”
The Fisheries Management Advisor of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea, Abena Serwah Asante, stated that such activities of the FCWC are intended to provoke positive policy creation that promotes sustainable fisheries.