A renowned musician hiplife musician, King Jerry, who hails from Ga Mashie a fishing community in James Town in the Greater Accra region says fishermen deserve recognition for their contribution to feeding the populace.
Speaking of his frustration with the host of the Ghanaian Farmer TV Show on Joy Prime TV, Enyonam, he said government has abandoned and belittled the plight of the country’s fisherfolk.
He added that even though there’s a National Farmers’ Day celebration, it shows very little or nothing about the works of fisherfolks.https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/gkjhANxP-bOZsmy48.html
According to a report from the Agric Ministry there are over two million people in Ghana and about 10 per cent of the population depend directly on fishing for their livelihoods.
With this number, more than 200 coastal villages are dependent on fishing as their main source of income.
King Jerry is, therefore, suggesting that an award scheme that is separate from Farmers’ Day and specially dedicated for workers in the fishing industry.
He believes this would motivate them to do their best towards reviving the sector.
“I think an award scheme should be created to celebrate them too, the sea is the most dangerous place to be, yet these people risk their lives, some spend a week or two before returning home with their fishes so we can eat.”
King Jerry whose family are mainly into fishing believes that the government has turned a blind eye to fishermen’s plights.
He cited changes in fish migration patterns and growing competition from larger, commercial fishing trawlers which are adversely affecting the pockets of small-scale fishermen.
“Government must consider celebrating them separately even if it’s not as big as the farmers day to compliment their hard work,” King Jerry proposed.
However, the country’s fishing stock keeps depleting annually due to widespread illegal fishing and destructive practices such as the use of dynamite, monofilament nets, DDT and light, among others which are continually causing irreplaceable damage to marine ecosystems.
The report further revealed that the incomes of small-scale fishermen had gone down drastically in the last two decades. As a result, Ghana is now forced to import more than half of the fish it consumes due to widespread illegalities on its waters.
These, the fishers in James Town said establishing a dedicated day of recognition to serve as motivation or well-codified rewards package for fishermen especially those who stand against the ‘norm’ and encourage others to do the right thing would help solve the problems in the fisheries sector.