The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured the fishing community across the coastal belt of the country that his government will ban pair-trawling in Ghana’s territorial waters.
The practice, which has depleted Ghana’s marine stocks, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, persists because “the courage to do the right thing is not there”.
“That is what is lacking in Ghana today,” the opposition leader said, adding: “Akufo-Addo’s government is going to have the courage to do what is right for the survival of our people and of our country.”
To this end, the NPP flagbearer has assured: “We shall no longer postpone decisions on these issues. If you give me your mandate, we are going to have the courage to make the decision of banning pair trawling in our waters. If we don’t, by the time we leave this earth, the marine stocks would have been depleted. We met something; we must protect it for future generations.”
Akufo-Addo made this known at a meeting with chief fishermen and fisherfolk at Elmina, on Monday May 2.
Amongst other initiatives to ensure that the fishing industry is saved from collapse, Akufo-Addo indicated that the Fisheries Management Committees established by the Kufuor government to oversee fishing activities in the country will be restored.
“We are going to restore the Fisheries Management Committees. They will operate, as originally conceived, under the leadership of the chief fishermen, so that the issues of premix fuel and outboard motors will be under the direct control of the fishermen,” he said.
He assured that the involvement and meddling of political party executives will be out of the fishing sector, saying: “This is the fundamental commitment the NPP government is making to the fishing industry. We are going to take politics out of the fishing sector.”
The vessel monitoring system that was introduced by President Kufuor to monitor the activities of vessels within Ghana’s territorial waters, beyond the 30-metre zone would also be reintroduced, Akufo-Addo said.
“My government will rehabilitate equipment brought in by the late Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries under President Kufuor, for the construction of cold stores, which have been abandoned by the Mahama government,” he said.
Additionally, Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment towards the construction of mini harbours at Axim, Teshie, Elmina, and other sites, for which drawings are ready but gathering dust at the Ministry under the government of President Mahama.
Nana Akufo-Addo asked for the support of the fisherfolk of Elmina, stressing that “everything you can do to help me win the election, please do”.
“I am appealing to you to have confidence in me and support me fully. God-willing, when you give me the opportunity to serve this country, I promise that I will not let you down,” he added.