The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and Hen Mpoano
has applauded the Fisheries Enforcement Unit for intercepting a ‘saiko’ canoe returning with blocks of frozen fish to the landing beach at Apam in the Central Region .
It has also called for transparency in dealing with the culprits.
They noted that the illegal practice of
EJF and Hen Mpoano in a press release urged authorities to be fully transparent in the conduct of this
“Sanctions must be no less than the minimum specified in the legislation, regardless of whether the case is settled in or out of court, and should include the cancellation of
The EJF, an international non-governmental
They noted that it was an opportunity for the government to demonstrate that engaging in illegal and destructive fishing practices in Ghana’s waters would not be tolerated.
Saiko, which was originally an informal trading system where unwanted industrial bycatch would be exchanged at sea for fruit and livestock brought by canoes, is now a part of targeted fishing for the trawlers.
Not only is this illegal, it puts industrial fishing vessels in direct competition with small-scale fishers for catches of species such as
Saiko is illegal under Ghanaian law, attracting a fine of between US$100,000 and US$2 million. The minimum fine increases to US$1 million where catches involve juvenile fish or the use of prohibited fishing gear.
A vessel carrying 215 slabs and 15 sacks of illegally transshipped fish popularly called
The officers and men from the Eastern and Western command of the Fishery Enforcement Unit undertook the operation at about