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09 February 2017

Gov’t to reduce import duty on fishing equipment by 2018 – Afoley Quaye

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Vetting of minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye has started in Parliament. Members of the Appointment Committee will quiz the nominee on her knowledge about her ministry and how she intends to improve the sector.

The former MP for Krowor Constituency is currently being taken through her CV, where corrections and certain additions will be made.

 

Building of landing beaches and supply of premix fuel

We will build landing beaches in Keta, Krowor and another at James town.

She said the NPP has made plans to build 14 of these landing beaches and it will be done if she is approved as minister.

On premix fuel, the nominee said she is aware of the difficulties with its distribution.

She says she will ensure that the laws in the procurement and distribution of premix fuel are enforced.

If the fisherfolk become watchdogs of their own, then the fuel will not be diverted or adultrated.

The enforcement unit of the ministry will also be strengthened

We will employ people who will go round the regions to ensure that when the fuel is procured and designated for a particular region, it gets there

 

Reduction in the import of fish

We have a huge fish production deficit. We produce 440,00 metric tonnes of fish  when we should be producing close to one million

What I intend to do is to ensure that the  fisheries management plan is enforced and that will guide us on how to improve fish production

 

Difficulties in acquiring permit for pond fishing

Investors have been complaining about the length of time in acquiring the permit

But there is a certain criteria that should be met and we will set up an inter ministerial committee comprising the EPA to address the issues.

Investors who want to enter into pond culture will go for an environmental safety certificate.

 

Tidal waves

The fisherfolk will be educated on what to expect and how to handle their equipment when one strikes.

 

Pair-trawlers: how she will help to streamline the activities of fishermen

The fisheries law requires that artisanal fishers fish within the 6 nautical miles distant

The trawlers go beyond this. For an industrial fisher to come all the way in the 30 metre depth , then it means the laws have been breached and the necessary action must be taken against that person.

 

Old fishing vessels and safety

The china boats are creating a lot of problems for the fisher folks.

Some Ghanaians encourage these vessels because of the lack of employment

So they enter into unprofessional agreements

We don’t want to take them out of employment, we will find ways of ensuring that whatever agreement they enter into is professional

We will involve some legal entities

We will come together with Ghana ports and harbours and GRA and the fisheries commission to ensure that when these vessels come they are inspected and we are sure of their sea worthiness before they go to sea.

 

Safety of consumers

What preventive measures will you adopt to ensure that we consume wholesome fish?

We will have to undertake the marine spatial planning so that we zone certain areas for fishing and others for oil.

This will help in protecting the consumer.

 

Fisheries college at Anomabo in the Central region

The nominee said the college wil be looked at again, restructure it to so that we will improve upon our fisheries extension delivery

We will educate the fisher folk along the coast on how to handle their catch

We will educate them to ensure they know what to do and what not to do.

Government has identified with the help of FAO and Netherlands development coporation to establish fish processors which is an improvement on the current fish processors

This improved methods of fish processing which will preserve our forests

 

 Insurance for fishermen

The nominee said the issue on insurance for farmers has been piloted by the previous government

We will look at the document study it and make a decision

 

Import duties on fishing equipment when will you reduce it?

We will reduce import duties on fishing equipment by 2018

 

Outboard motors

In a repsonse to if the Akufo-Addo-led administration will continue the massive out board motor distribution like the previous did, the nominee said the government will expand the distribution of the outboard motors.

 

Fish production plants in Ghana

We want to set up fish production plant in Ghana and so we are going to make frantic efforts to invite investors in that area.

The plants, she indicated will create jobs for the youth, something her party his bent on doing.

 

What type of infrastructure are going to develop for the people of Lawra?

We will come together with the northern development authority to find ways of enhancing fish production along the volta river

 

Fish Exportation

Lost 150 million dollars in fishing exports as a result of illegal unreported fishing activities. What steps will you take to avoid an EU ban?

After the ban was lifted, a fisheries management plan was developed. At the moment all the fishery laws are begin streamlined into one law.

After the law comes into fruition, we will ensure that we do not go against any of the laws so that we are not banned

 

What will be your contribution to alleviate poverty in the fishing sector?

We have realized that a lot of the youth who are engaged in fishing so I have met with some of them and given them enough reason why they should go back to school

I have also suggested to them that we could start an evening school for them

We will liaise with he education ministry for this to be done

If we could teach them how to improve upon  the business they are doing, it will increase income

 

Transparency

It is truth that a lot of the fuel is diverted for other uses because there is a waiver on the price

Because of this the price of the premix fuel is lower than the other fuels, so a lot of people are engaging in the diversion of the fuel or adulterating it

We are going to endure that when the fuel is procured it is followed

The tracking systems will ensure that he fuel is not diverted to any other source

What we are also doing is to ensure that we put in place some coordinators at that various landing beaches who are going to ensure that when the distribution of the fuel is done, it gets to its destination

If any OMC is found culpable the law will deal with them

With the help of national security we an ensure that all the illegal problems in the sector are solved.

 

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