Enforce Fisheries Laws - Friends Of The Nation

Friends of the Nation (FoN), a socio-environmental research and advocacy non-governmental organisation, has called on the government to enforce the laws on the use of harmful fishing methods.

It said weak governance of the fisheries sector has led to declining marine fishery resources, conflicts and widespread illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on the theme: "Effective Fisheries Enforcement, The Voice of Fishers and Civil Society Organisations," Mr Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah, Programmes Manager FoN, said the wide spread use of unsustainable and harmful fishing methods is contributing to degradation of critical coastal fishery habitats.

He said those who violated fisheries laws and regulations did not only harm the resources and put the economy at risk; but it is also unfair to those who comply to the laws.

Mr Yamoah said addressing the peculiar situation in Ghana’s fisheries governance system requires the application of two main cardinal strategies; voluntary compliance and deterrence.

He said the voluntary compliance includes efforts to secure the active support of resource users and their willingness to comply with the necessary legal and regulatory framework as well as management of fisheries resources on sustainable basis through intensive sensitization and education.

He said it would be appropriate to apply deterrence (measured enforcement of the law) to address all forms of infractions.

Mr Yamoah said some key elements of deterrence include: conducting regular inspections of fishing vessels at landing sites and increasing sea patrols.

He said there was the need to also apply proactive measures to decentralize the enforcement process by promoting collaborative Fisheries Management (Co-mgt) systems where fishing communities and local stakeholders will be involved in enforcing law.

Mrs Emelia Abaka- Edu, National Vice Chairman of the National Fish Processor and Traders Association, called for the non-politicisation of the fishery industry to enhance growth.

In Ghana, the fisheries industry contributes significantly towards the social, cultural and economic development of the country.

The sector supports the nation’s economic development objectives relating to food security, employment, poverty reduction and foreign exchange earnings.

Friends of the Nation (FoN), is a socio-environmental research and advocacy NGO based in Sekondi in the Western Region and established in 1993. Its mission is to catalyse increased action on sustainable natural resource management and healthy environment through knowledge transfer, training, research, networking and advocacy.