Fishermen in Winneba have vowed to ensure no fisherman goes to sea using light to fish.
Speaking at a press conference in Penkye a suburb of Winneba, Nenyi Kweku Mbir , the chief fisherman of Winneba , disclosed that unlike other surrounding communities , fishermen in Winneba have not been using light to fish for the past six (6)months and therefore called on government to ensure others also follow suit.
The Winneba Chief Fisherman appealed to the government to construct a wharf for them in Winneba and also appealed for the construction of a sea defence to protect the various fishing communities in Winneba from the tidal waves.
Joseph Kwaw Donkor Bonney , who is a fisherman in Winneba , threw a challenge to government to declare war on the use of light in fishing as it has done against illegal mining , notably “galamsey” ; saying “….if government does not ensure other adjoining towns like Apam , Gomoa Nyanyano and the likes also desist from the use of light in fishing , then we in Winneba will also use light to fish as we are all losing out in trying to do the right thing whilst others are making profits illegally”.
Anthony Appiah who is a senior fisheries officer in the Effutu zone in Winneba said there are over 300 landing sites dotted along the coast and it is challenging to deploy the navy and the marine police to every landing site.
He said as a result the Fisheries Commission and various civil society organisations are appealing to the fishermen to employ the use of co-management and voluntary compliance to check illegal fishing practises like the use of light , dynamite and unapproved fishing nets.
He denied that fishermen in surrounding communities like Apam are allowed to use light in fishing saying a lot of generators and unapproved nets have been seized and are in the custody of the commission.
He advised that the fishes will re populate better and much more if light is not used and also said the use of synthetic net, results in some of the net staying in the waters without decomposing hence the ban on such nets since it can by itself be trapping both fingerlings and adult fish in the sea and pollute the sea when the dead fishes decompose.
The Executive Director of Development Action Association (DAA) , a civil society organisation , Lydia Sasu said illegal unregulated unreported fishing (IUU) is impacting negatively on the fisheries sector hence their collaboration with the Sustainable Fisheries Management Programme(SFMP) and the USAID to ensure the livelihoods of fishermen are protected through the use of approved methods of fishing.
She commended the Chief fisherman of Winneba and his subjects for taking a bold stance against illegal fishing methods and called for enforcement of the law against such practises.