The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson has assured Ghanaians that issues relating to illegal fishing practices are receiving urgent attention by the government through legal and policy reviews to provide the requisite legal framework and strategic direction to improve the state of fisheries and aquaculture.
Speaking at the opening of the 37th National Farmers Day Celebrations and Agriculture Fair in the Central Region, on the theme “Planting for food and jobs: Consolidating food systems in Ghana “, she indicated that the Ministry has intensified fisheries enforcement operations including sea and land patrol and has deployed observers on fishing vessels for sea trips for continuous monitoring of activities at sea.
This also includes the effective operations of the Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) and Automatic Information Systems (AIS) and the promotion of voluntary compliance, she added.
Hon. Koomson reiterated the creation of a conducive working environment for fishers while engaging in their fishing expeditions and the extension of the needed infrastructure and technical assistance to support their operations.
According to her, the Executives of the various Fisheries Associations have been proactive in responding to operational challenges during the year and acknowledged the support of development partners, civil society organizations, academia, and research institutions.
The Central Regional Minister, Mrs. Justina Marigold Assan, in her welcome address, described the Fair as a prelude to grand durbar on Friday, envisioned to be a memorable one.
She applauded fishers and farmers for their persistent contributions to the wealth of the nation and extoled the government’s innovative interventions in the sector by instituting numerous policies such as Aquaculture for Food and Jobs, Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory and many others to transform the Agricultural and Fisheries sectors.
Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Oguaamanhen, echoed the great contributions of fishers and farmers whose labors had sustained national food security and also contributed to about 30% of Ghana’s export earnings.
The Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Bono, and Western Regions participated in Monday’s Fair with cultural and varieties of crops and foodstuffs.