The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has held a Press Conference in Accra to update the media on its intention to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the fishing industry.
In a Press statement the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hon Nayon Bilijo disclosed that the restrictions on the export and import of fisheries products into the European Union (EU) were as a result of the emergence of the IUU.
The Fisheries Minister said following the formal identification of Ghana notification, Ghana and European Commission (EC) had been engaged in a dialogue process with regard to a range of corrective actions required to be taken by Ghana to meet obligations as trading partner of EC.
Some of the corrective actions the Minister noted were enhancing the fisheries legislative framework; adoption of a National Plan of Action against IUU fishing; adoption of system dissuasive sanctions and strengthening of monitoring, control and surveillance system.
Hon Bilijo added that progress had been made by the Ministry with the dialogue process and to announce specific policy actions intended to be taken to deal with any future IUU fishing incidents.
The Hon Minister further said the Ministry had embarked on strengthening the fisheries legislation to combat IUU fishing in all its forms. “This legislative reform process will aid adopt new regulations by the end 2014”, the Minister stated.
He also emphasised that the Ministry had adopted a National Plan of Action to combat IUU fishing. This National Plan, Hon Bilijo said implemented the International Plan of Action to combat IUU fishing and the Regional Plan of Action under the auspices of the Fisheries Committee of West and Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC).
The Minister however made it known to the media EC’s caution to Ghana to ensure that no Ghanaian vessel was caught or reported to have committed IUU fishing in the next few months.
“We cannot allow a few bad nuts/seeds to jeopardise our collective hard work. Let me repeat. IUU fishing in Ghana is a thing of the past. There is absolutely no room for bad actors in Ghanaian fisheries,” he cautioned.