By Patrick Biddah
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, has raised red flags over the decision by government to ban fishing between August and September.
The MP, who is a Ga native, has entreated the government to take a second look at the decision, since the implementation will deny the Ga natives of their feast in the upcoming Homowo festival.
According to Dr. Vanderpuije; the immediate past Mayor of Accra, some priests and priestess who have been preparing for the Homowo festival are not happy with the decision, saying the feeling among fishermen is not good.
Reacting to a statement by the Minister of Fisheries, Madam Elizabeth Afoley Quaye on the floor of Parliament in an answer to a question concerning the planned ban, Dr. Vanderpuije, said the implementation would have dire economic effects on the people of the Greater Accra region.
The planned ban is expected to take effect from August 7 to September 4. This ban is expected among other things, to replenish the fish stock in the seas.
But in the view of the Ablekuma South MP, the fishermen he has interacted with, are not pleased with the planned ban.
Aside expressing the worry of the fishermen and the priests and priestesses, Dr. Vanderpuije, also said the Speaker of Parliament, Aaron Mike Oquaye, who is a native of Ga,will equally be denied the feast for Homowo period.
He, therefore, suggested a review of the planned ban, saying the various stakeholders should consider introducing the ban this year and push it to next year.
Directives by the Fisheries Minister, Madam Elizabeth Afoley Quaye that arrangements have been made by government at the district assembly level to mitigate the effects of the ban, was shot down by the ex-AMA boss.
“From my experience, I can tell the house that the arrangement for fishermen to see the district assemblies to mitigate the effect of the ban does not exist”, Ablekuma South MP noted.
The Fisheries Minister, who got another chance to respond to the concerns of the Ablekuma South MP, said the ban was necessary to replenish the fish stock, since a scientific survey has shown that Ghana, will lose its entire fish stock in three years.
She defended government’s position with the facts that, an average of 70,000 fisheries are to be harvested within the one month that the ban would be implemented.
She called on the aggrieved fishermen to take advantage of the time now, since July is still a bumper season.