An associate professor at the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Ghana, Legon is urging government and leadership of the various fishing communities to develop a shift system for fishermen along the coastal areas, so as to prevent a spread of Covid-19.

According to Prof. Francis Kofi Ewusie Nunoo, this policy will ensure proper social distancing protocols that will prevent the fisherfolks from contracting the virus.

The Scientist and Coastal Management expert speaking on Adom FM’s political flagship program, Burning Issues hosted by Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom, Wednesday, stressed the need for proper shift systems to manage the arrival and departure of canoes used by the fishermen.

Prof. Noono said the lives of over three million fisherfolks and their families are in danger if government fails to roll out proper strategic policies to ensure social distancing in the wake of covid-19.

Prof. Francis Kofi Ewusie Nunoo

“I will advise the government together with the leadership of the fishing communities to develop a roaster for the fisherfolks to ensure proper social distancing.”

“The Information Minister should also summon the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to bring policy on how to protect the fisherfolks” Prof. Nunoo emphasized.

While calling on the Coastal Development Authority to provide affordable housing scheme for the fisherfolks as most of the fishing communities are not economically sound, Prof. Nunoo also called on the Marine Police to intensify their operations within and along the coastal areas to ensure adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

“All district assemblies along the coastal areas and Fisheries Commission should partner the ministry to ensure compliance,” the expert said.

Contributing to the discussions on Burning Issues, the Programmes Manager of Friends of the Nation (FoN), Mr. Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah agreed with the suggestions by Prof. Nonoo on the need to develop a comprehensive plan to protect fisherfolks.

Programmes Manager of Friends of the Nation (FoN), Mr. Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah

He also called on the government and other stakeholders to intensify education along the coastal areas.

Mr. Yamoah also encouraged the fishermen to get nose mask to protect themselves and their loved once from contracting the virus whiles at seas.

He urged the security agencies to enforce protocols regarding the Covid-19 in the interest of all.

Mr. Yamoah also pleaded with the fishing communities to report any suspected case of the virus for timely response by health officials.