MEMBERS OF the Oguaa Fishermen Association in Cape Coast have appealed to President Atta Mills to, as a matter of urgency, take a second look at the Legislative Instrument (LI) that prevents fishermen from using light when fishing.
According to them, the fishing industry would soon collapse if the government did not rescind that decision since the law affected almost all the fishermen in the country.
“The LI will send most of us to our early graves since all fishermen at the coastal areas namely, Biriwa, Anomabo, Sekondi, Mumford, Elmina, among other fishing communities in the country are practising light fishing,” they said.
The fishermen made the appeal at a press conference organized at Cape Coast in the Central Region on Friday to outline some of the problems confronting the industry.
Briefing the press, the chairman of the association, Ishmael Aggrey, stated that the ban on using light in fishing would affect the industry seriously due to the climate change.
“How can the government import fertilizer for farmers to use on their farms and goes ahead to stop us from using the light, does that mean fishermen are not important or what?” he asked.
Mr Aggrey disclosed that there had not been any scientific proof that using light in fishing was harmful to human consumption, hence the need for government to allow them to use it.
He noted that the introduction of using light in fishing had contributed immensely to the lives of fishermen in the country as most of them had been able to support their children’s education even to the tertiary level.
Mr Aggrey, a canoe owner, appealed to the government to instruct the Navy Officers to release generators they seized from fishermen some months ago to the owners.
“We don’t understand why the Navy Officers had to release the rubber nuts which were seized to the owners while they continue to keep our generators, although we were all not supposed to use them,” he added.
From Sarah Owusu-Darlington, Cape Coast