Food and Agriculture Minister Kwesi Ahwoi, has apologized to fishermen who were allegedly brutalized by some police officers during a demonstration close to the Castle on Tuesday June 14.
The Minister made the apology in Parliament on Wednesday June 15, when he appeared on the floor to answer questions including what the Ministry was doing to curtail bad fishing practices.
In answering the question, he made reference to the Tuesday clash, said he was unhappy about what had happened and apologized accordingly.
He however emphasized the need for the fisher folks to respect the Police. Mr. Ahwoi said the culture of disrespect for the Police which is gaining grounds, is one of the reasons for such excesses during demonstrations.
Four members of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council were injured after Police fired tear gas to disperse them, as they attempted to enter the Castle to present a petition to the President.
Addressing further questions on the floor, the Minister said Section 94 of the Fisheries Act, passed in 2002, provides for the establishment of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Enforcement Units which are supposed to amongst others, monitor all fishing operations in the countrys waters.
He said the Agric Ministry in consultation with the Defence Ministry has appointed a committee to outline modalities for the establishment of the enforcement unit in accordance with the Act.
He also announced that a number of arrests have been made since the Mills administration assumed office in January 2009.
According to him, 31 canoes and vessels have been seized for engaging in various illegal fishing activities. The vessels and canoes have been confiscated by the State whilst the owners are before Court.
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