We will protect Ghanaian fisherfolk from Chinese – Fisheries Minister-designate

We will protect Ghanaian fisherfolk from Chinese – Fisheries Minister-designate
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Austin Brako-Powers | Austin.powers@myjoyonline.com
Date: 09-02-2017 Time: 02:02:06:pm
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister-designate, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister-designate has promised to protect Ghanaian fisherfolk from exploitation from the Chinese who are into fishing in Ghana.

Elizabeth Afoley Quaye said she would ensure Ghanaians who front for the Chinese to register their trawlers are treated fairly.

Speaking before Parliament's Appointments Committee Thursday, she said the reason some of the fisherfolk are maltreated is because they fail to do due diligence in their arrangements with foreign nationals.

"What they do is to have a shoddy, unprofessional agreement because of lack of employment," she said.

Depleting pelagic fishes

The Fisheries Act empowers the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Ministry to sign and issue the license for trawler vessels to operate in Ghana. 

However, some Ghanaians invite Chinese trawler vessels into the country and front for them.

The World Bank has had issues with the conflicting figures given for the number of licensed trawlers as well as bad treatment meted to Ghanaians working for foreign vessels.

Mrs Quaye who hails from a fishing community said she would prioritise the safety of Ghanaians if approved by Parliament.

"What we intend to do is not to take them out of employment," she said, adding they would find ways to ensure that whatever agreement they enter into is done professionally.

On the issue of rickety vessels on Ghana's sea, the Member of Parliament for Krowor Constituency said she would collaborate with other stakeholders to inspect the sea worthiness of vessels that are registered.

She has also promised to crack the whip on Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) that divert premix fuel meant for distribution in the country.

"There are some tracking systems on the trucks that distribute the fuel and they are to ensure the fuel is not diverted," she said adding any OMC that is found culpable would be dealt with by the law.