Central Regional Chairman of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), Allotey Jacobs, has denied claims by fisher folk particularly in some parts of the Central Region, that government has failed to adequately address challenges they face in their work, saying the low catch around this time of the year, is only natural because it’s a lean season.
Mr. Jacobs said those who will blame the low catch mainly on government’s supposed failure to fix their challenges, may be seeking to play politics.
Some fisher folk at Winneba have threatened not to vote in the forthcoming general election, if the challenges they face in their work are not addressed.
According to some who spoke to Citi News’ Akwesi Koranteng, it would appear as if politicians only find it prudent to make several promises to them during campaigning but fail to deliver.
They have largely mentioned illegal fishing methods, lack of landing sites, inadequate supply of premix fuel, high cost of fishing materials, depleting fish stock and inadequate storage facilities as some of the challenges they are faced with.
But speaking on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, Mr. Jacobs dismissed the concerns raised by the fisher folk in Winneba, saying government had introduced several policies to enhance their work and boost productivity.
“Government has imported fishing equipment, subsidized it, government is giving them premix at subsidized prices, government has built a prototype of a service station for them to always have enough premix for their fishing so what else again do they need? “.
He believes the challenges the fisher folk are currently facing which has to do with low catch, is largely due to the fact that the period now is a “lean season” for fishing.
“They know the truth that we are in the lean season, we are in the period of hook fishing and that is why we are facing these challenges.” He partly blamed some of the problems the fisher folk were facing on sand winning at the shores as well as the use of illegal fishing methods such as the use of dynamite and DDT among others.
He thus urged the fisher folk to stop these practices rather than blaming government for all their challenges. He believes these fisher folk are only “trying to play politics” with the issues being raised.
“The fishermen might have legitimate concerns but some of them are trying to bring politics into this,” he said. The concerns of the fisher folk in Winneba is not different from those in the Volta and Western Regions.
Fisher folk in the Ketu South Constituency of the Volta Region, have also threatened to vote out the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), come November 7 2016, if the party fails to fulfill it’s numerous promises to improve their livelihood.