Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Mafo has described illegal fishing as “galamsey on the seas” and so recommended tough measures in fighting the menace.
“I think somehow we have to make a very strong passionate case,” said Mr Osafo-Mafo on Thursday at the closing ceremony of a three-day Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment, organized by USAID under its Feed The Future programme.
“From what I have observed and read, we are doing a lot of identification, doing a lot of talking about the problem [but] our efforts to resolve the problem have not been successful,” he admitted.
He stressed: “We must fight it like we are doing for galamsey.” The fishing industry employs about 2 million Ghanaians, contributing 4 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP).
But illegal fishing is threatening an otherwise promising industry. The Senior Minister said Ghana has all the laws to curb illegal fishing but these are flouted by the fisherfolk who religiously obey the laws in other territories.
“There must be something wrong with us.” He cautioned persons engaged in illegal fishing that “You are destroying the fish. You are destroying the future of the industry.
You are destroying all those who earn their living through fishing. You are destroying the source of our protein,” asking them to desist from the act.