Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Hawa Koomson, in conjunction with the Municipal Chief Executive(MCE) of Nzema East, Frank Okpenyen has launched what they term as “operation visit every kitchen” to collect washed-ashore fishes that may have landed on the markets.
The sector minister disclosed this in a news report by TV3 on her working visit to interact with the fisher folks to learn at first hand, the challenges associated with their trade for any government interventions, on Thursday, April 22.
At a durbar to meet up with the minister, scores of fishmongers pleaded with her to impress on President Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo to compensate them for the loss of capital they invested in the trade of the washed-ashore fishes which the assembly confiscated a bigger portion from them, for the fear that they were contaminated.
Reacting to this request, Ms. Koomson said the killing of the dolphins for sale “is illegal so the government cannot compensate them and we are not going to encourage that, if we should compensate them it means we are asking the government to do more whenever it happens but we say it should stop, so we cannot do that to encourage them, government cannot compensate them”.
For his part, Mr. Okpenyen said, “we have been able to retrieve like 20 but then it has turned to carcass and the scent emanating from them was unbearable. Again we also had a tip off so we embarked on operation visit every kitchen and then we found a basket fully loaded, ready for marketing, we retrieved all just like they mentioned it over there, then we sent them to our refuse dump to bury them”.
“We also liaise with the chief fisherman, there has been a series of meetings that the chief fisherman has been part of the community engagements and they are fully aware those dolphins are illegal to kill, you cannot catch them, let alone prepare them for market. So as for the sanctions, if the law says we should sanction them, then the law shall be enforced” he pointed.
He further indicated that the assembly is in close contact with neighboring assemblies, including Ellembele and Ahanta to be on the lookout for any of the smoked dolphins that may have been smuggled there, for confiscation and destruction of the wanted washed-ashore dolphins.