The Ghana Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association calls for an end to human rights violations against artisanal fishermen in Ghana.
According to them, the perilous state of Ghana’s small pelagic fishery has serious implications for the economic and social rights of small-scale fishing communities.
The Association believes that the right to an adequate standard of living, including the right to food, and the right to decent working conditions which are recognized in Articles 25 and 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights man (DUDH) must be protected.
In a statement signed by the President of the Association, Nana Kweigyah, he said that, unfortunately, the rights of artisanal fishermen have been violated over the years by illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing practices that are widespread in all sectors of Ghana’s fisheries, making fishing communities poorer and more vulnerable.
He further explained that the sharp decline in fish catches by artisanal fishermen means lower incomes and deterioration in the standard of living of fishermen and fishworkers.
âThere is an urgent need for the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) and the Fisheries Commission (FC) to tackle widespread IUU fishing in all sectors of Ghana’s fisheries, including the sub- artisanal sector, and more urgently the activities of industrial trawlers which deprive artisanal fishermen of significant fish catches.
The association cites the recent declaration of zero tolerance for IUU fishing practices, by Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Minister Mavis Hawa Koomson, at the opening of the 37th Farmers Day and Trade Exhibition, at Cape Coast, as a timely decision which must be supported by all stakeholders towards its achievement.
According to the minister, MoFAD has stepped up fisheries control operations, including sea and land patrols, deployment of observers on fishing vessels, effective functioning of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) and monitoring systems. automatic information (AIS) to promote voluntary compliance.
This is good news because duty bearers have a duty to respect, fulfill and protect the human rights of rights holders, and must be seen at all times to do so.
Nana Kweigyah said: âIt should be emphasized that the fight against human rights violations begins with the participation of rights holders in decision-making processes in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner.
This must be ensured by all duty bearers, including states and their agencies, the private sector, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations.
As the world marks Human Rights Day 2021, canoe and fishing gear owners want the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to institute quarterly meetings with representatives of artisanal fishermen and fishers. fishery workers as a platform to regularly engage in the fight against these human rights. violations and the many concerns of artisanal fishermen and fishworkers.