The Volta Inland Fishermen Association (VIFA) wishes to congratulate the Ministry Of Fisheries And Aquaculture Development, particularly the National Premix Fuel Committee for its commendable effortin curtailing the issue of premix fuel shortages and diversion.
The Association also acknowledges the immense reduction in the number of landing beaches which has consequently impacted the efficient and equitable distribution of premix fuel to fisher folks.
The steady supply of premix fuel to landing beach committees has gone great lengths to reverse the perennial challenge of shortages and diversion, which until last year, was a lively threat to the fisheries sector.
We concede that this refreshing improvement is not unconnected to the revised composition and expansive supervision of landing beach committees put in place by the Economic Management Team chaired by His Excellency, Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia.
Specifically, we wish to laud the Hon. Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, the National Premix Committee/Secretariat for collectively working hard to bring the President, His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo’s dream of a sanitized premix fuel distribution system to fruition.
We precisely applaud the following feats:
• Restructured landing beaches in all inland regions
• Zero incidence of diversion incidents since November 2017
• Newly installed tracking device to monitor trucks and avert diversions
• Efficient collaboration with NPA for smooth management and distribution of premix fuel
• Absence offishermen agitation owing to shortage during peak season despite initial operational challenges at Tema Oil Refinery-a feat achieved for the first time in many years.
• Appointment of Regional Operation Officers chaired by Regional Ministers to check and maintain oversight functions.
In the light of the aforementioned, we believe there is still room for improvement as we collectively strive to propel the fisheries sector to great heights.To this end, we appeal to the ministry and specifically, the secretariat to expedite action on ongoing efforts to position the sector for accelerated growth.
Having achieved sanity in the supply of premix fuel thus far, we are appealing to the ministry to further support the operations of fisher folks by aiding the acquisition of out-board motors and fishing gears at subsidized prices.
Secondly, we also wish to appeal to the ministry to consider designing an aquaculture module bordering on fish cage farming, irrigation farming as well as small scale animal rearing to help discourage a drift from inland fisheries activities into illicit endeavors like ‘galamsey’ by some fishermen.
We are confident that the effective management of fisheries can be better improved through:
• Encouraging NPFC to register all canoes in fishing enclaves to ensure that premix full sale is targeted at genuine fisher folks only.
• Publishing names of all landing beaches to consolidate gains made in fight against diversion.
• Engaging communities to ensure judicious utilization of community development funds accrued from the sale of premix fuel.
• Putting in place measure to ensure that 53% of premix fuel proceeds are ploughed back to fishing communities through community projects
• Instituting mechanisms to ensure that only Fishermen are on LBC as stipulated by National Premix Committee Regulations(LI 2233)
• Introducing closed season in the lake area as well for proper management and conservation of fish stalks in the inland Regions.
• Clamping down on all illegal fishing gears and fishing methods in the in the inland regions.
• Proper Regulation on indiscriminate uprooting of trees which serves as breeding grounds for fishes on the Lake.
The following out-board motor specifications and fishing inputs are greatly desired by fishermen at subsidized cost to help operations need:
Out-board motor (I) Yamaha 9.9HP (II) Yamaha 15HP, (Yamaha 40HP)
Fishing inputs: (i) Monofilament fishing nets, (ii) Multifilament fishing nets, (iii) Twines (iv) Wire Mesh (v) Floats (vii) Hooks
Once again we say Ayeekoo!! for the good work done so far.We look forward to a favorable response to our request for further support and collaboration to help propel the sector.
Mr. Sampson Mahu
Mr. Prosper Gameli Attamah