Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson, has said fishermen who engage in illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing activities will be arrested and prosecuted.
“Currently, when they are arrested and taken to court they are fined and released. We are also going to have a discussion and make sure it is part of our laws that when you are engaged and arrested, you will be imprisoned for three months or a maximum of six months to serve as a deterrent,” she said.
Mrs. Koomson was speaking to fish processors and chief fishermen in the Western Region when she presented some relief items to them.
The items include over 200 deep-freezers, 1,700 basins and 570 bundles of wire mesh to support their fishing activities.
She mentioned that the ministry has had some engagement on the closed season with neighbouring countries – Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire – and next year they are coming on board to observe it during the same period.
She expressed worry about the continuous use of light and dynamite for fishing, and cautioned the fishermen to put a stop it.
She said the Fisheries Enforcement Unit (FEU) will continue to do their work effectively and efficiently, as well as arrest recalcitrant fishermen.
Acting President for the National Canoe Fishermen Council, Jojo Duncan, encouraged the fishmongers and fishermen to obey the laws governing fishing in the country.
“We are still going by the slogan ‘when you see something, say something’, and so you should report colleagues who do not go by the rules,” he added.
Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, encouraged the fishermen to work hard and maintain a good image for the fishing profession.