Hawa Koomson calls on fishermen to invest in aquaculture

Koomson noted that the Ministry, in collaboration with R&B Farms, was training interested applicants in aquaculture, after which the fingerings and the needed resources were funded by the Ministry as start-up capital for the fishermen

Hawa Koomson, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, has urged fishermen and those in the value chain to take an interest in fish rearing as an alternative to over-reliance on the sea.

The minister said her outfit in collaboration with R&B Farms, was training interested applicants in aquaculture, after which the fingerings and the needed resources were funded by the Fisheries Ministry as start-up capital for the fishermen.

“Please show interest in this alternative livelihood and that a team from Liberia has come to Ghana to be trained on the concept of how much more we Ghanaians.  We need to take advantage of this and I mean particularly the youth amongst you, to create more jobs and kill poverty in our communities,” she noted.

The minister spoke at an engagement with canoe owners, fishermen and chief fishermen on plans concerning the 1 July to 31 July close fishing season for artisanal fishermen.

The minister expressed concern about bad practices at sea. She said the pollution of the ocean with waste and plastics was becoming a major threat, aside from the use of illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing methods employed by some unscrupulous fishermen at sea.

She, however, encouraged them to avoid selfish and dangerous fishing practices that contribute to the depletion of marine resources.

The minister said, “Don’t allow yourselves to be arrested. Let us comply with all fishing rules, particularly the close season, because if for nothing at all, you are asked to pay even GHC100, there is a cost while that money could be invested.”

She assured the Ministry’s support throughout the close season and encouraged all communities to comply with modalities for the distribution of relief items.

The fishers suggested a ban of two years for offenders at sea, collaboration with traditional rulers along the coast to ensure sanity on the sea and devices to test the quality of the catch.

Reporting by Isaac Hughes in the Western Region

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