The Ghana hub of Sustainable Ocean Alliance based in United States has called on the government to be strict in enforcing laws that are aimed at conserving the ocean and protecting marine life.
SOA Ghana Hub lead, Gideon Sarpong, says that local authorities have not done enough to safeguard the ocean ecosystem as some parts of the country’s fisheries management plan are being disregarded.
He made these comments after over 60 dead dolphins and various other fish species wash up on several beaches in the country.
Speaking on Accra-based Metro TV, Gideon Sarpong made reference to the seemingly lack of oversight of the number of industrial fishing vessels that were operating on the country’s waters.
“There is a structural problem when it comes to Ocean conservation and protection of marine species and that stems from the Fisheries Commission and the Ministry of Fishing. We are supposed to have 46 industrial fishing vessels in our waters according to the Fisheries Management Plan but as at 2017, officials figures indicated that we have 76 and unofficial figures pointed at over a hundred 100 industrial fishing vessels on our waters,” he noted.
Gideon says that the situation was worrying as persons operating the industrial vessels were going to compete with the local fisherfolks.
“…these are competing with our local fisherfolks and we have over 100,000 artisanal fishers who depend on our waters for our livelihood so structurally, there is an enforcement problem at the governmental level and I think that they have to do more to protect people who depend directly on the ocean ecosystem for their livelihood”
Large mammals washed ashore
Gideon Sarpong says that the development along the coast must be of concern to Ghanaians because of some health implications that may arise.
With investigations ongoing to unravel the cause of the incident, Gideon Sarpong wants authorities to readily publish their findings for the knowledge of the general public.
Story by: Jeffrey Nyabor | universnewsroom.com