GNCFC calls for support to flush out illegalities collapsing artisanal fishery

The Ghana National Canoe Fishers Council (GNCFC) has urged stakeholders in Fisheries to play their respective roles diligently to curtail Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

It said the Fisheries Commission, Marine Police, fishers, and all other entities must work with a common goal of ensuring that the distasteful illegalities collapsing artisanal fishery was flushed out.

Nana Kwamena Sanka II, Public Relations Officer of the GNCFC said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the international day against IUU.

The day is celebrated in June each year to create awareness on the need for all to work to stop the illegal and dishonest way of fishing and to promote fishing legalities.

He said the sector provided vital source of food, employment, recreation, trade, and economic well-being of people in a world of growing population and persistent hunger and as an important commodity for the achievement of food security.

However, he indicated that efforts by the international community to ensure the sustainability of fisheries sector were being compromised by the various kinds of IUU activities.

Nana Sanka, who is also the Anomabo Asafo Atewa Apofuhen, said IUU fishing remained one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems and depleting global fish stocks.

He said it also created serious economic and social imbalances by undermining the protection and recovery measures implemented.

He said to help curb IUU fishing, there was the need to make the fisher the centre of fish management as that was the only way they could cooperate with regulators.

“If these fishermen are sensitized to know the need to avoid juvenile fish catch, they will support the various authorities to sustain the fish population in Ghana’s waters” he added.

Speaking on the way forward, the PRO said all must count their losses, admitting that the fishing industry was collapsing because the sea was no more what it used to be years before the introduction of IUU activities.

“We can still protect it anyway, if we decide to work together to stop dynamite, plastic waste, saiko, light fishing, chemical fishing and the use of monofilament nets, everybody must play their parts well enough” he added.

Speaking on the closed season scheduled for July to August, he asked for structured alternative livelihood support systems to mitigate the impact of the fishing closed season on their livelihoods.

Such support systems, he added would also reduce their overdependence on the sea even after the closed season.

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