A delegation from the United States of America’s Congressional Committee on Natural Resources has paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, in Accra on Monday.
They discussed joint efforts in combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU) and promoting sustainable conservation of natural resources.
The minister highlighted the long-standing ties between Ghana and the US and lauded Virginia E. Palmer, the US ambassador to Ghana, for her efforts to strengthen such ties.
Madam Koomson outlined some measures undertaken by the government to tackle the challenges in the sector as the implementation of a closed fishing season for all fleets including artisanal canoes, the implementation of a vessel monitoring system (VMS) for all industrial trawlers and tuna vessels, the recruitment of observers on all industrial trawlers and tuna vessels for sea trips and inspection of vessels at sea and in port.
She also mentioned preparing a new fisheries and aquaculture policy, drafting a new fishery act and regulation and the procurement of a research vessel and four patrol boats to strengthen law enforcement at sea as some of the measures put in place to combat IUU.
She asked for a unified stance at international gatherings, as well as improvements in ocean governance and combined patrols to fight piracy and IUU.
The head of the delegation, Chairman Raul Grijalva, in response commended the Minister for the various strategies being implemented to replenish Ghana’s fisheries resources, adding, “The United States stands with the Fisheries Ministry in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing.”
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD