Apparently disturbed by what president Akufo-Addo said a fortnight ago, when he presented the State of the Nation address, fishermen and canoe owners, have come out to set the record straight.
The decision of the fishermen and canoe owners to speak about the challenges confronting them was borne out of the rosy picture the president painted when he presented the SONA.
Chief Fisherman in Elmina, Ofarnyi John Quayson, has revealed that the fishing sector has declined under the Akufo-Addo led government.
This he revealed is due to over 500 canoes which have been grounded, resulting to a total of 10,512 losses of direct jobs in the sector.
According to the Chief Fisherman, “The fishing work has seen a steady decline since the assumption of office of President Akufo-Addo. As we speak, a total of 584 canoes across the country (per our count) have been grounded and their teams disbanded. The breakdown is as follow. Volta Region 76, Greater Accra 152, Central Region 244, Western Region 112” “The situation, has resulted in a total of 10,512 losses of direct jobs.
This is aside the uncountable numbers of fishmongers, fish carriers, canoe secretaries, canoe guards and other auxiliary workers who have also lost their jobs. This certainly gives cause for concern. Doesn't it?” he questioned
Expectedly, the comment of the president has drawn outrage among the fishermen, who have questioned his sincerity, when he mentioned that, modernisation is finally coming to the fishing industry.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the fishing industry, under the current administration, is passing through one of its greatest challenges.
The president, who has developed the penchant for flowery words, as usual read a statement which was prepared for him, without cross-checking with fishermen.
This newspaper is saddened by the revelation of the fishermen. The fishing industry is one of the vibrant industries in the country, aside its economic benefit, fish is a healthy diet, as it contains a low-fat high quality protein.
Fish is also filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium, it health benefits cannot be overemphasized.
This newspaper believes that a well-structured and revitalized fishing industry will create job opportunities along the value chain, from input supply to production (capture fisheries and aquaculture farming), processing, wholesale and finally, retail.