Fishermen cautioned against use of monofilament nets at sea

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Commodore Francis Ayitevi Nyarko, the National Coordinator for the Fisheries Enforcement Unit, has cautioned fishermen against the use of monofilament nets at sea when the sea is open for fishing. 

Commodore Nyarko stressed that the unit would ensure that such nets were not used in the sea, as their usage is illegal.

He said this when addressing fishermen and fish processors at the Tema canoe beach when the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development distributed food items to the fisher-folks.

Monofilament fishing nets are made of a single plastic line, and they are known to be strong and almost invisible underwater, making them deadly to wildlife as ocean animals could not break free and avoid them.

Researchers have noted that lost monofilament lines and nets can take as many as 600 years to degrade and often catch fish and other sea animals, and their plastic lines get tangled around coral reefs.

Commodore Nyarko stated that “in fact, I have gone around this morning, and I have seen some of your people mending their nets, and those nets they are using most of them are unauthorised; those are the monofilament nets.”

He stressed that “when we open the sea, we are not going to allow anybody to use monofilament net again in these waters.”

He further urged them to ensure that they complied with the fishing laws, including the closed season, which commenced on July 1, and prepare against engaging in illegal fishing of all forms.

He reminded them that the illegal fishing activities included light fishing, the use of DDT, and monofilament nets.

“All of you should try to abide by the law; if you do, we will be happy to ensure that you are doing your work well; but for those who will not comply, we are there to ensure that you do the right thing,” he stated.

Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, announcing the ban on the use of monofilament nets during the official ceremony for the closure of the sea, said it was part of the government’s commitment to preserve marine resources and ensure the long-term viability of the fishing industry.

Reacting to the ban, Nii Adjierteh Mator, the Tema Ashaman chief fisherman, urged the ministry to ensure that the monofilament fishing nets were not available for sale in the country, as it became very difficult to ensure that fishermen did not use them when they were readily available to them.

He further said that most of the nets currently at the canoe beach belonged to fishermen from other regions and districts and not Tema fishermen, explaining that most of them had returned to their districts following the close season.

By Laudia Sawer, GNA

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