The European Union (EU) is supporting selected coastal districts and municipalities to secure landing beaches from being developed into hospitality facilities.
The Programmes Officer of the Infrastructure and Sustainable Development section of the European Union, Mr Christopher Ackon said a conscious effort must be made to reserve the fishing beaches to keep the artisanal fishing for posterity.
At a meeting with fishermen at Anomabo in the Mfantseman municipality, Mr Ackon reassured fishermen that the EU would commit to protecting their livelihoods by securing fishing beaches for them and for the next generation.
The EU with its implementing organizations including the Friends of the Nation (FoN), Care International and OXFAM, under its “Far Ban Bo” project is working with some district assemblies to demarcate and protect fishing bays for traditional fishermen.
The “Far Ban Bo” project also seeks to ensure that all forms of illegal unregulated and unreported (IUU) activities that negatively affect the sea’s resources were reduced and that local fishermen were educated and empowered to help protect the sea resources themselves.
To this end officials of the EU have visited some fishing communities in the Western and Central region to assess among others the impact of the project.
Mr Ackon said if the beaches were left to the highest bidder the traditional fishermen would be thrown off the beaches and their fishing heritage jeopardized.
This he noted would increase poverty and have dire socio-economic consequences on fishing communities.
He said this called for urgent steps to ensure that where artisanal fishermen plied their trade along the beaches were not lost to rich businessmen.
The Mfantseman Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Kelly Essuman in his remarks said the municipal assembly would work to ensure that all by laws that were needed to protect the traditional fishing beaches of the fishermen were put in place to keep their livelihood sites safe.
The Head of Sector ISD of the EU, Mr Roberto Schiliro for his part advised the fishermen against the use of IUUs in their trade.
He said they owed it a responsibility to keep the sea and hand it over to the next generation without abusing it.
“If you stay together and work with this mind, you would not need the security agencies to come here to enforce the laws.
Nana Mbroba Dabo I, Paramount Queen of Anomabo further asked for further education for the fishermen on the need to stop all illegalities in the sea.