Some fishermen and canoe owners in the Central Region have criticised Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration for doing very little to help the growth of the fishing industry.
According to the fishermen, the fishing industry has seen a steady decline since the assumption of office of the President.
They allege that a total of 584 canoes across the country have been grounded and their teams disbanded because there are no supplies of outboard motors and the partisan distribution of premix fuel.
At a news conference at Elmina on Wednesday, the leader of the fishermen, John Quayson, called on the President to follow the examples of former Presidents who made significant strides for growth of the fishing industry
John Quayson, popularly known as Maanoma, walked the media through the various former Presidents Ghana has had under the 4th Republic and their contribution to the fishing industry.
He stated that the Akufo-Addo Administration appears to be the worst of all the Presidents in terms of their support for the fishing industry. According to him, the promises of the president to get them outboard motors has never materialized.
Not only that. According to him, the supply of premix has been on partisan lines and as a result, as many as 584 canoes have been grounded resulting in over 10,512 losses of direct jobs.
“What pains us the most is that in 2019 during the state of the nation address in parliament, the president promised giving fishermen 5,000 outboard motors. From 2019 to date, no outboard motor has been giving us. Not even one of them has been given,” he said.
He continued,” In 2020 during the state of the nation address, we felt he was going to say something about the fishing industry but surprisingly he did not say anything. Since he came, many fishermen have lost their jobs. In the Volta region, 76 canoes have grounded, in Greater Accra 152 got grounded, Central region recorded 124, Western Region had 122…. We want to ask the president whether he meant what he said or it is just old age that is affecting him.”
Speaking on behalf of the fishermen, John Quayson said many fishermen are dying of strokes and other diseases due to what’s happening in the fishing industry.
“The disease called stroke is sweeping across the coastal communities. Many are bedridden. They relied on the promises of the president that they would be given outboard motors but such promises have never been fulfilled. We should have been seeing improvement in the lives of our fishermen and fishmongers but sadly, they are worse off,” he lamented.”
Some of the fishermen Joy News spoke to also said the Ministry of fisheries should not dare announce any closed season this year because they have been starved of outboard motors, premix fuel and the required nets sizes for fishing.
The fishermen have intimated, they are surprised the president would say in the state of the nation address that his government is presiding over a vibrant fishing industry while the evidence on the ground does not suggest so.