President John Mahama says the Marine police and the Ghana Navy will begin arresting fisher folks who engage in pair trawling and other illegal fishing practices along the coast. The president was speaking at a ceremony to begin distribution of outboard motors to fishermen at James Town here in Accra.

In all, about 3000 outboard motors are expected to be distributed to the fisher folks across the country.1000 outboard motors will be given out in the first phase.

Annual consumption of fish has been pegged at 950,000 tonnes yet production is about 400,000 tonnes. The deficit is imported, and it is for this reason government is distributing outboard motors which is said to have custom made for the canoes.

President Mahama said, “these outboard motors are made specifically for our environment and our canoes. These are the most powerful, 40 horsepower Yamaha outboard motors. They are very strong, and they are able to maneuver against the waves properly.

“And just as we do to farmers, fishers are also just going to pay 70% of the cost, government is paying 30% of the cost on your behalf.

President Mahama also touched on the construction of landing sites and cold store facilities where he indicated that “by the end of the year we are starting the reconstruction of 6 landing sites and James Town is one of them. It is a project being financed by the World Bank.”

On the issue of illegal fishing, the President said “we are going to tell the Navy and the Marine Police to be vigilant and arrest people who do illegal fishing but ultimately the ones who can monitor and stop the practice is you the fishers yourself.

“Because you know those who do it, and when they are going you see them going and you know that is what they are going to do. And yet because we would be accused of being gossips, we keep quiet but at the end of the day we all suffer.”

Source: Tv3network

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