Fisheries Management Committee inaugurated at Atorkukope
By: Samuel Agbewode, Ho
The Paramount Chief of the Aflao Traditional Area, Togbui Amenya Fiti IV, has stressed the on need for settler fishing communities in the area to regard themselves as an integral part of the community, and be prepared to respect the customs and traditions of the people, to help promote cordial relations between them and traditional authorities.
Togbui Amenya Fiti said it was very unfortunate that some settlers refused to observe the age-long tradition being practiced by the people, giving instances where some of the people in the settler communities had refused to participate in the performance of annual rituals that ensure plenteous harvest for fishermen.
The Aflao Paramount Chief, who made the call at an inaugural ceremony of a Community Based Fisheries Management Committee (CBFMC) at Atorkukope in the Aflao traditional area in the Ketu-South District, said the continuous undermining of tradition and culture was seriously affecting the development process of the country, and called for an attitudinal change to ensure rapid development.
Togbui Amenya Fiti expressed dissatisfaction with environmental practices along the beach in the area, particularly by fishermen, noting that those who use the beach for fishing and other business activities should cultivate friendly environmental practices, to ensure that as they go about their duties, the beach would be kept clean at all times.
He observed that fishermen played a vital role in the development process of the country, but much was not done to enhance fishing activities, as they continued to use old fishing methods, which he said, was not helping them, adding that now that fishermen were more organised in the area, much could be achieved if the committee worked more effectively.
Togbui Amenya Fiti used the occasion to caution against the negative sand winning activities at the beaches, saying the development should be seen as one of the bad environmental practices in the area, as well as those who build along the beach, stressing that very soon he would order the demolition of illegal buildings along the beaches.
He announced that he was trying to bring investors from abroad to build cold stores at the various beaches in the area to help promote the fishing activities of the people, adding that the future of the fishing industry looked bright, and urged the fishermen to unite and work hard in order to improve economic activities in the fishery industry.
Togbui Amenya Fiti stressed that the beach should be seen as crucial to the community, and efforts should be made to plant more coconut trees to beautify the beaches, and called on land owners in the area to release land for the establishment of beach-soccer, which he pointed out, would be very beneficial to the youth and society.
The Ketu-South District Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Geoffrey Agbleze, said the sea and the environment should be regarded as a precious gift from God, which ought to be protected for the total benefit of present and future generations, stressing on the need to protect the environment at all times.
Mr. Agbleze called on the Community Based Fisheries Committee at Atorkukope to work hard to promote fishing activities, noting that it was very important for the committee members to enforce laws regulating fishing activities to help preserve the environment and increase productivity.
The Assembly Member for the Area, Mr. Theophilus Horlorku, observed that some fishermen in the area were still using unapproved fishing methods such as chemicals, which he stressed was very harmful to the environment and should be stopped.
He also expressed concern about the challenges confronting the distribution of premix fuel to fishermen in the area, and appealed to the government to help address the problem, because the mismanagement of the commodity continued to tarnish the image of the government of the day.
The Chief Fisherman of the Ketu-South District, Mr. Seth Abotsi, said the eleven member committee, Chaired by Mr. Amuzuvi Kosi Doe, would work for a period of four years, and cautioned them against interfering in premix fuel distribution, which he said, was the duty of the Landing Beach Committee members.
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=45456