Some cold stores operating within the Tema metropolitan area, specifically around the fishing harbor are currently struggling to survive in business due to the numerous challenges confronting the fishing industry.
Some major challenges mentioned include the erratic power supply, low fish catch due to orthodox practice in fishing by local fishermen, and the influx of foreign vessels taking over the waters.
Mankoadze Fisheries Company Limited, Ghana’s first private fishing company, owned by Robert Kwamena Nortey Ocran has featured prominently in Ghana’s Fishing industry since its inception in 1952.
The company between the early 1950’s and 1980’s brought major revolution breakthrough in the fishing industry by producing about 40 fishing vessels, fishing both in Ghana and foreign waters and marketing its fish locally and internationally.
The company in 1953 and 1954 introduced the first two of 30 footer motor powered commercial vessel “TF4 Mankoadze and Lois” into the Ghanaian waters, went into the development of locally constructed motor powered fishing vessels in Takoradi, and in 1956, the first 40 footer locally built motor powered vessel “King Fisher” was introduced, as well as the introduction of a 58 foot general purpose British built vessel named “the Provider.”
Between 1955 and 1956, the company established a factory that handled canned fish, fish fillets, and fish oil and fish meal, in addition to storage of frozen foods.
Having championed and practiced pair trawling over the period of 28 years, the company ventured into Tuna fishing business and took delivery of eight Norwegian vessels to operate exclusively as Tuna vessels for both export and domestic consumption at several Tuna Division centers.
The Tuna Division of the company evolved into joint ventures companies, first Ghana Tuna Fishing Development Company Limited, then Pioneer Tuna Fishing Company limited, both of which have metamorphosed into TTV limited.
The company is also the proud mother of Pioneer Food Cannery and TTV Limited, the leading canned Tuna producing company and the biggest Tuna fishing company in the country respectively, also have a cold store of about 3000 tons capacity in Tema.
The company at the time was highly praised in a report of the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and was described as the most successful in the country.
However, the most well-known, most vibrant, most significant and most successful Fishing Company is currently struggling to survive in the industry.
Speaking in an interview with the DAILY HERITAGE, Manager of the Company, Victor Seddor lamented that the cold store business is currently very difficult to handle, and as result, most of the smaller cold stores are folding up because their products are going bad and they do not have enough capital to purchase a standby generator and fuel it as well to keep their products.
He said the company due to the 48 hours of power outage use 2,000 liters of gas oil, amounting to GH¢6,000.00.
Mr. Seddor pointed out that low catch by fishermen is becoming real with their 3,000 tons capacity cold store going down to as low as 28 tons.
He attributed the low catch in fish to the use of orthodox methods by local fishermen such as underweight net, chemicals and lighting device, among others.
Ghana’s fish consumption has hit 1,000,000 metric tons annually of which only 400,000 metric tons is being supplied from the country’s catches at sea and through aquaculture production.
The country is currently importing 600,000 metric tons to fill the gap at an estimated cost of $200, 000,000.00 annually.
Mr. Seddor called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to with immediate effect implement the Fisheries Act to ensure discipline and sanity in the industry. He urged the ministry to endeavor to stop or deal with fishermen using illegal methods.
Meanwhile, small scale mining, commonly known as galamsey is also a contributing factor as most rivers that are sources of fishing, as well as flow into the Akosombo dam to facilitate hydro-power are all destroyed.
“Galamsey business must be stopped because it has also affected the Akosombo dam, as water that was source of flow at the time can no longer flow into the dam”.
He appealed to government to facilitate measures to ensure that power is back to normal to revive collapsing industries and other ventures that are crying for survival.
“Government must ensure foreign vessel activities must be monitored to ensure they operate under regulation, with the appropriate fishing methods to stop depleting fish stocks in the ocean.” He advised.
Source: Daily Heritage
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|