Fishermen in the Western Region have engaged in the 2013 Regatta, an annual programme sponsored by the Jubilee Partners.
It was organised to provide a platform for the Jubilee Partners to interact with the fishermen, share ideas and also create an environment for peaceful co-existence.
Fishermen groups from Sekondi/Takoradi, Ahanta West, Nzema Hast, Ellembelle and Jomoro converged on Shama and competed in boat racing, tug-of-war, fetch and fill, among other races.
Speaking at the ceremony, the chief fisherman of Abuesi, Nana Kojo Konduah, called for more dialogue between the fishing community and the players in the oil and gas sector to ensure harmony.
He noted that as more discoveries were yet to be made for commercial production, which would eventually lead to the increase of vessels, there was the need for more interaction to protect the interests of the fisher folk.
Nana Konduah said fishing was one of the oldest sectors in the country that employed millions and fed the whole nation and for which reason it needed more attention.
He said since both the fisheries sector and the oil and gas industry were working to support the economy, it was important that the players worked in concert to promote national development.
Nana Konduah, who is also the Regional President of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Association, said it was important to note that besides the interaction with the international oil companies, there were other issues confronting the fishing sector and the annual regatta provided the perfect platform to resolve them.
Nana Kondua spoke about the use of unapproved fishing nets and other dangerous methods of fishing such as the use of lights and chemicals and said the annual regattas were always used to educate the people about the ha7ards of these bad fishing methods.
Mr Ken Nunoo, an official of Tullow Oil, the leading operators of the Jubilee fields, said the prime focus of the regatta was to share ideas with the fishermen.
He said Tullow Oil and the other members of the Jubilee partnership considered the fishermen as very important partners in the country’s maritime sector.
Mr Nunoo said the aim was also to seek the support of the fishing communities in protecting the coastlines and to ensure clean and beautiful beaches.
He said clean beaches were also a potential tool to attract tourism and to rake in income for those living along the coast.
Mr Kofi Appiah, the District Chief Executive of Shama commended the Jubilee Partners for their constant support and called on the fishermen to use the proper methods of fishing.
He said the government was aware of the contribution of the sector to the economy and would do everything possible to protect the interest of the fishing communities.
Source: Daily Graphic