Illegal fishing activities is one major problem being faced by the authorities in the Keta Municipality, a situation which is worrying according to some chief fishermen. The MCE for Keta, Emmanuel Gemegah has therefore sent warnings to recalcitrant fishermen involved in Illegal fishing activities to stop immediately or face the wrath of the law.
Mr Gemegah gave the warning during a meeting recently held at the Keta Assembly Hall to deliberate on the challenges of the persistent usage of Illegal nets in the municipality, especially Vodza, Kedzikope, Dzelukope and other communities in the Keta municipality.
Mr Gemegah noted that the situation has become so rampant that there is no day he does not receive a complaint from residents and fisher folks on illegal fishing. Mr Gemegah said there are measures in place to stop the Illegal activities and anyone caught doing illegal fishing will be dealt with without fear or favour.
Mr William Agbenu from the Volta Regional Fisheries Commission who presided over the meeting noted that the fisheries commission is doing its best to make sure that the situation is addressed. Mr. Agbenu noted that government or the Commission alone cannot solve the issues on Illegal fishing, but it takes the efforts of residents and the fishermen to help put a stop to the menace.
Mr. Kwesi Randolph Johnson, Volta Regional Coordinator of Friends of the Nation (FoN) urged the fishermen to adopt attitudinal change towards the illegal activities. Mr Johnson noted that it can only take the efforts of the fishermen to make a positive change in the fishing industry. This, he said is by they deciding not to be involved in the illegal fishing activities.
The fishermen at the meeting lamented how some of their colleagues have refused to adhere to warning from the Minister and other authorities to put a stop to the Illegal fishing activities in the area. They noted that in as much as they try to help their colleagues stop the Illegal activities, some of them still do it secretly making it difficult for others who have resolved not to engage in the Illegal fishing activities to stay away from the Illegal activities.
Some of the fishermen complained about the use of light and inappropriate nets in fishing thereby destroying the fishes and the sea in the process. They noted that there is the urgent need for government through the Assembly to put in stiff measures against the illegal activities in the area. The situation, they say, is becoming too rampant and thus affecting the activities of the trade negatively.
Some residents who had a conversation with the media noted that there are some recalcitrant fishermen and net owners who have refused to heed to the calls of the Minister and executives of the Council to put a stop to the illegal light fishing in the coastal towns. According to them over 50 boats are seen on the sea doing light fishing and also use some dangerous green chemical, especially in the night, hence destroying the fishes in the sea.