The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson has made a swift U-turn and rescinded her decision to continue to allow Elmina fishermen to observe the closed season for refusing to heed her directive on illegal fishing.
The decision according to the Elmina fisherfolks affected them since the fishing job is their only source of livelihood.
The Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister on Thursday, August 5, met with the leadership of the Elmina fishing community in her office to resolve the issue.
The Minister said due to the fishers commitment to sustainable fishing practices, the supply of subsidized premix fuel and outboard motors will resume.
“The leadership of the Elmina fishing community was in my office earlier this week to commit themselves and their people to sustainable fishing practices.
They’ve resolved to voluntarily report any person, within or without their rank, who engages in unsustainable fishing practices like light fishing, Saiko and all other forms of illegal fishing.
Based on their pledge to me, I have directed the National Premix Secretariat to resume the supply of premix fuel to the fishers in that area on the condition that supply would be halted again should they renege on their promise to put to an end illegal and unsustainable fishing practices.
It would be recalled that I directed for the extension of the closed season for fishers in the Elmina Enclave by not supplying them with the needed government logistics such as subsidized premix fuel and outboard motors when they insisted on using light for fishing which is an illegal and unsustainable fishing practice.” The sector Minister posted on Facebook
Hawa Koomson’s decision to extend the closed season for fishers in the Elmina Enclave
Elmina fishermen will continue to observe the closed season for refusing to heed the Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister’s directive on illegal fishing.
As a form of punishment for the fishermen to stop illegal fishing activities, the fishermen in Elmina will continue to observe the closed season despite the reopening of the sea for artisanal and inshore fleets, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister has said.
The minister explained it has become necessary for her ministry to keep the fisherfolks in check.
Mavis Hawa Koomson told the media in a report that, the fishermen refused to heed her campaign against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, thereby, it has become necessary for the ministry to keep the fishermen in Elmina in check.
“After my presentation on Tuesday, June 27, they said I said, they should stop the Saiko and light fishing which they were not happy with and so I should reverse that statement and I said no. I wasn’t ready and so they said if I am not going to reverse, I should take back the items I brought for them and I did.
“Now they are begging, they have come to apologize, I am told they had a press conference, one of the chief fishermen is here to apologize but we still have to punish them for that I will not hide it,” Hawa Koomson explained.
The minister indicated that the fishermen will also be refused premix fuel as well as other fishing logistics which will be of great help to them until they are willing to comply with the directives set out to deal with illegal fishing.
On his part, Joseph Heman Asmah, the 2019 National Best Fisherman who represented the Elmina fishing community appealed to Mavis Hawa Koomson to reconsider her decision.
He said, “The fishermen were sitting down patiently waiting to hear from the minister but the guru boys they did that so I have to be here and apologize.”
“If the woman says she won’t give us premix, where will we get premix? If the woman says she won’t give us outboard motors at control price, where will we get some to buy? Whenever we are in need and we go and she closes her door to us those who did it, won’t feel it,” Asmah pleaded.