Seafarers advised to embrace training

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By Juliet Aguiar DUGBARTEY, Dixcove

The President of Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association (GITA), Stephen Adjo Katcher, has advised seafarers to go for training to be abreast with new technologies in the maritime sector.

“During this Closed Season, you need to develop your career path by upgrading yourself to remain effective, competitive and enhance the quality of service provided within the industry,” he said.

He added: “The maritime industry depends on seafarers who are well-equipped and proficient in terms of knowledge and technical know-how”.

Mr. Katcher was speaking to the B&FT in an interview during the 2024 Closed Fishing Season at Upper Dixcove in the Ahanta West Municipality of the Western Region.

Last year, he said the Regional Maritime University (RMU) was able to train some of the seafarers on the new trends and how they need to enhance their business.

“Today, we do not have captains in Ghana to man our shipping vessels, so, we always need to get foreigners to do that for us. We hope the Fisheries Ministry will make sure that they push RMU so that the courses they offer will be reduced for the fisherfolk to be trained,” he said.

Mr. Katcher pointed out that the sector has faced significant challenges over the past two years.

According to him, an example of these challenges is high cost of operations, including fuel, spare parts and labour – which have tripled, among others.

“In light of these challenges, we will use the Closed Season as an opportunity to explore solutions. We will advocate for policies that will alleviate the economic burden within our sector,” he said.

He continued: “I encourage all trawler operators within this Closed Season to engage in activities that will enhance our sector’s resilience and sustainability. Invest in vessel maintenance and upgrades as well as explore alternative income-generating activities, and participate in training programmes to enhance the skills and knowledge of all crews”.

Mr. Katcher urged all members of GITA to adhere strictly to the closed-season regulations. “Let us work together to protect our marine resources, ensuring that they remain abundant for future generations”.

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