General News of Fri, 30 Jan 20040
MOFA clears the air on confiscation of fishing gear
Accra, Jan 30, GNA- The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has stated that the confiscation of fishing gear in the Western Region by the Regional Security Council is in accordance with the Fisheries Act 2002 which is already in force.
A statement signed by Nana Ohene Ntow, government's spokesman on behalf of the Minister of State in Charge of Fisheries, stated that "the ministry is only seeking to enforce rules and regulations that have already been enacted into law under article 635".
The statement said Section 88 of the Act states that " a person shall not permit to be used, use or attempt to use any explosive, poison or other noxious substances for the purpose of killing, stunning, disabling or catching fish or any way rendering fish more easily caught".
It therefore added that the use of fishing gear is illegal and the Regional Security Council as well as the Regional Minister is only helping to implement the provisions of the Fisheries Act.
The statement urged the fishermen and all stakeholders in the Western Region to co-operate with the appropriate authorities in the enforcement of the necessary regulations in the fishing sector. The statement added that the proper enforcement of the regulations is in the best interest of the industry and the nation.
The Ministry, the statement said however expressed regret at the unfortunate impression that has created conflict with the Regional Minister who is the head of the Security Council has responsibility to help protect the fisheries resources that lie within his jurisdiction to ensure the security and sustainable management of these resources and sections of the fishing community in the region.