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Minister calls for preservation of marine ecosystem   
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Nii Amasa Namoale, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Fisheries has called for effective traditional management systems to preserve the marine ecosystem.

He therefore tasked the District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies to enforce the bye-laws that would make the Community-Based Fisheries Management Committees (CBFMCs) efficient.

Nii Namoale, also the Member of Parliament for Dade Kotopon in the Greater Accra Region was speaking at Yeji in the Pru District of Brong Ahafo Region at a durbar to climax a week-long activity for the 30th anniversary celebration of Yeji Co-operative Fish Processing and Marketing Society.

The celebration was on the theme: “Unity and Progress.”

He said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is encouraging collaborative resource management through the establishment of the CBFMCs.

The Deputy Minister therefore urged the communities to ensure their participation in sustainable management of fishing resources.

Nii Namoale emphasised government’s commitment to the continued implementation of the Block Farming Programme, announcing that the Pru District would for the 2012 cropping season cultivate 400 acres of maize and 100 acres of rice.

He urged organised groups to register with MoFA to receive improved seed, fertiliser and ploughing services.

Nii Namoale expressed regret that activities of the Yeji Artisanal Fisheries Station is dwindling, saying records available indicates that a total of 99.24 metric tonnes of fish were processed in 2011 as against 2,778.82 metric tonnes in 2010.

The Deputy Minister pointed out “the huge drop is quite regrettable” and asked stakeholders in the industry to ascertain the reasons for the disturbing situation.

He said although MoFA had intensified education on approved and safe fishing methods on inland waters, some few individuals still use light aggregating devices and banned chemicals like DDT and carbides as well as dynamites and other explosives.

He warned that the law would catch up with the culprits

Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo Regional Minister revealed that the Micro and Small Loan Centre (MASLOC) had offered more than GH₵100,000.00 as loans to beneficiaries in the district.

Ms Juliana Akosua Gidiso, President of the Association expressed appreciation to the Business and Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) for the assistance to revive the body.

She said the Association was at the verge of collapse because membership had reduced from 500 to 300 and continued to dwindle but through the financial assistance of BUSAC as well as training workshops on business development and management skills the calamity has been avoided.

Ms Gidiso appealed to the Regional and District Security Councils to beef up security on the Yeji-Atebubu-Ejura-Mampong-Kumasi Highway to clamp down on the operations of armed robbers who have been harassing traders on the route.
Source: GNA

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