President John Mahama has instructed the Navy to clamp down on pair trawling and light fishing in the country’s territorial waters.
According to the president, these illegal fishing activities have contributed to the dwindling fortunes of fishermen along the coast in recent times.
The president re-affirmed his commitment to deal with the challenges facing fishing industry in the country.
Speaking to a group of fishermen and stakeholders in the fishing industry at Ekon near Cape Coast as part of his ‘Accounting to the people tour’ in the Central Region, the president revealed that he had instructed the navy to arrest fishermen who engage in pair trawling and other illegal fishing activities.
“For those who engage in light fishing and pair trawling, I have instructed the navy to try and arrest all of them. When they are caught nobody should come to the Flagstaff House to plead on their behalf. I won’t listen because they are destroying the fishing industry. This is something I am taking very seriously.”
I’ll ban pair trawling – Nana Addo
President Mahama’s comment comes days after the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo promised to ban pair trawling and other illegal fishing methods when voted into power.
According to him, the problem has persisted because of the lack of political will to end it. Nana Addo’s statement follows recent complaints by fishermen about the threats to their livelihood as a result of illegal fishing practices.
Nana Addo while interacting with fishermen at Elmina in Central Region, assured that an NPP government will not delay in taking decisions on such matters.
“If you give me your mandate, we are going to have the courage to make the decision of banning pair trawling in our waters. If we don’t, by the time we leave this earth, the marine stocks would have been depleted. We met something; we must protect it for future generations.”