One Emmanuel Essien, a fishing observer assigned to the Meng Xin 15, a Chinese Vessel operating in Ghana, has been reported missing for about three weeks now.
Emmanuel Essien some three weeks ago embarked on a scheduled observer mission with the said vessel but has since not been seen. His colleagues allege that the vessel returned from its deep-sea operations without Emmanuel. It is standard practice to assign observers to foreign and local fishing vessels that fish in Ghanaian waters.
The Monitoring, Control and Surveillance department of the Ministry for Fisheries and Aqua Culture is responsible for the assignment of observers.
“Basically every fishing vessel goes to sea on board with an observer who will record all activities at sea and report back to the Ministry of Fisheries. Recently, there was a Chinese vessel by name Meng Xin 15 with observer Emmanuel on board.”
“Five days after the trip, the vessel came back reporting that the observer was missing,” one of the observers told Citi News on the condition of anonymity.
The observer also accused authorities of doing little to find their missing colleague adding that several of such similar complaints have not yielded any result.
“As at now, there is no communication from the authorities on the whereabouts of our colleague. Almost all the reports we’ve sent to the Fisheries Commission have not been acted upon and no attention is paid to our welfare. The Chinese maltreat us but our authorities are unconcerned,” he alleged.
The Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Department of the Ministry for Fisheries and Aqua Culture are yet to comment on the matter after an attempt to get their response.