An aggrieved fishermen in the Ekye-Amanfrom, a suburb of the Afram Plains in the Kwahu North District have raised concerns over how some persons are using illegal means fishing in the Ekye-Amanfrom River.
In a petition, the Unit Committee of the Ekye-Amanfrom requested that an apparent and stringent measures be taken to curb the recent growing of fishing illegalities in the Ekye-Amanfrom River.
According to the Unit and the assembly member, there has been a series of reports from the residents, raising alerts on the alarming rates of illegal fishing activities in the area.
Speaking to the Kwame Koranteng, host of Anɔpa Dawuro on Republic Fm, Mr Charles Sebbie, one of the petitioners who signed the press release, said, some unscrupulous persons use unlawful means to harvest fishes overnight whiles they (the Fisher folks) in the community embark on their fishing activities during the day.
Mr Sebbie maintained that, these illegal fisher folks use wire nets during the night thereby destroying their flexible nets, which in turn, leaves their traps fruitless.
According to Mr Sebbie, a lot of engagements has been done by the Chief of the community and the chief fisherman but all have yielded no meaningful results.
“The people have refused to listen; couple of months ago, an incident happened which brought chaotic mammoth in the area, we rushed to the scene and they were from Asuboni and they were mining fish at our jurisdiction which is the Ekye River. Upon confrontation by our people, angers flared up, resulting in a scuffle, in which one person sustained injuries. He sustained injuries on his head from the attack, unfortunately, there was no ambulance to convey him to the hospital, only God saved him”. He said
Mr Sebbie stressed that, the Unit Committee of the Ekye Amanfrom decided to petition these communities, Akate, Adaekope, Nketepa, Asuboni, Mangoase, Adooso and Kotoso to desist from their illegal activities on the river.
During the interview, Kwame Koranteng questioned Mr Sebbie on how the committee was able to ascertain the involvement of the above mentioned communities in the illegalities of fish mining in the area. Mr Sebbie stated categorically that, those people are not new persons, they know them, stressing that some of them are their families living in other jurisdictions.
“They are not new. In fact some of them are our family relatives. We know them. We meet them everyday on the river and ask them to abort their absurd fishing activities on the river.” He stated.
Asked whether there is an association among the fishing communities to address the challenges, Mr Sebbie explained that, for now, there’s no association but the chief fisherman and other fishermen do meet occasionally to disseminate information from the assembly concerning their fishing activities in the area.
On responding to why there is no association to foresee all the fishing activities within all the communities to address a common concern of death threat among these communities over the Ekye River, Mr Sebbie said, they have thought about such an imperative idea to meet the various heads of the fishing communities to form such association but the thought of setting it up hasn’t yet been concluded.
Mr Sebbie further opined that, a task force has been already constituted to combat the activities day in and day out.
“The task force apprehends culprits on the river and such persons would be taken to the Chief Fisherman and the elders of the community, and be forwarded to the police for questioning.” He added
The Committee also raised other issues including Saturday fishing and farming, using of dragging nets and mosquito nets or wire goose and using of fish hook.
“Saturday fishing and farming are sacred days by the custodians of the Ekye-Amanfrom land. It must observed. The dragging nets is also an illegality in the fish farming, usually when they do that, it destroys the flexible nets being setup by other fishermen at the spot. We cannot tell them how to fish in their communities but on the Ekye-Amanfrom River which belongs to the Ekye people, we don’t want such fish mining activities here”, he stated.
The National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) on November 25, 2020, has projected a whooping $1.1 billion revenue from fish export by 2029.
Fish export from Ghana are made up of high value tuna (Whloe, loins, and canned), frozen fish (mostly demersal species), lobsters, shrimps, cuttlefish, dried fish and smoked fish.