January 26, 2022

Premix shortage hits Western Region, leaves fishermen in limbo

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Some Chief fishermen in the Western Region have expressed worries over the inadequate supply of Premix fuel in the fishing communities to enable them to ply their trade.

They also mentioned several factors to be contributing to the current situation which was having an adverse effect on their expedition.

The affected communities include Ngyiresia in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, Abuesi in the Shama District and Axim in the Nzema East Municipality as fishermen also struggled to procure an adequate supply of the products.

The Chief Fisherman for Abuesi, Nana Konadu V in an interview told Spice Fm in Takoradi that a meeting with the Fisheries Minister, Madam Hawa Koomson recently attributed the shortage to the lack of maintenance of fuel tanks at the various landing sites and illegal fishing at the various landing beaches.

He cited some illegal activities such as “Saiko” and the use of lights by some bigger boats owned by some Chinese companies and said such actions leave the fishermen with no choice but to follow suit.

Nana Konadu V, therefore called for more education on illegal fishing to avert the trend.

According to him, the provision in the National Premix Fuel Committee (NPFC) L. I. 2333, makes the Chief Fisherman Chairman of the seven (7) member Committee in charge of facilitating equitable distribution of Premix Fuel at landing beaches in the country.

He, however, refuted the claims of politicizing the distribution of the fuel and said though partisan politics could affect the effectiveness of the position and therefore sometimes decisions can be taken without his prior notice.

Chief Fisherman of Ngyiresia, Kwesi Ackon lamented that fishermen continuously go fishing with rubber nets, dynamites amongst others after a series of education on illegal fishing and applauded the Ministry for the introduction of the close season as a necessary tool to give the fingerlings some time to mature.

The Chief Fisherman for Axim, Nana Kofi Bentil also observed that fishermen were getting a supply of the Premix fuel but was inadequate and had to manage the situation which he said was very disturbing as the impact on the fishing business was hugely affected.

Mr Philip Kwesi Bain, a member of The Western Regional Premix Committee said that the Government was taking steps to change the current tanks used for storing Premix Fuel but the fishermen complained of selling the Premix fuel early enough to avoid drying up of the product through evaporation.

”It is based on this reason why the Government is procuring digitised Tanks that will avoid evaporation which forces fishermen to sell the product faster than usual and also give an adequate measurement of fuel. The government has begun piloting the use of some of the Tanks at Osu and Oda and it is soon expected to be used at fishing communities”, he stated.

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