Ghana is one of the worst victims of China’s exploitative fishing practices in Africa. It is widely known how China has been stealing fish and depleting fish stocks and also creating an environment of fear among local communities in West Africa. Further, China’s exploitative practices had reached alarming proportions, particularly in Ghana, with rampant corruption, physical abuse of Ghanaian workers and even death for locals. However, now Ghana will not be a sitting duck as it has finally decided to fight back against China’s bullying tactics and ill intentions with all its might.
Ghana commits to electronic monitoring on fishing vessels
In a bold step to curb China’s abuse, the Republic of Ghana has pledged to monitor all fishing vessels. Taking the lead in fisheries transparency in West Africa, Ghana has committed to a cent percent electronic monitoring of Industrial Fishing Vessels.
As per a report, Ghana’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has made it clear that the country will now require all fishing vessels operating in its waters to fit electronic monitors.
“The electronic monitoring system will have cameras and we have tied this to the licensing of the vessel to be able to go for fishing,” Mavis Hawa Koomson said.
Ghana is committed to achieving 100% transparency in industrial fisheries operating within the exclusive economic zone by 2025.
Ghana plans to achieve this goal through video cameras, remote sensors, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and hard drives installed on fishing boats, jointly known as Electronic Monitoring Systems (EMS), to monitor fishing activities and collect valuable data like fishing effort, catch composition, bycatch, and human welfare. The information provided by the electronic systems is essential for the Government of Ghana and the supply chains for fish caught in Ghana to ensure transparent reporting of compliance and legality and for better management of marine resources.
Further, these measures will also prove to be extremely important to prevent the abuse of Ghanaian workers by Chinese vessel operators.
We have previously explained to our readers the condition of Ghanaian workers aboard Chinese-owned fishing vessels which even leads to the death of workers.
Further, Chinese abusive, exploitative and illegal motives have created such an atmosphere where many Ghanaian fishermen are helpless and scared for their lives with virtually no remedy. Reports also suggested that many Ghanaian workers have been treated like “slaves” and even forced to work for days without sleep and sometimes without food.
Thus, it was important for Ghana to take stern action against such inhuman treatment of its own people by a foreign “bully”, which looted its marine resources.
However, Ghana has had enough, and now it expects that the electronic monitoring system will not only track the vessels but also, through attached cameras, also allow authorities to deal with claims of abuse of Ghanaian workers by Chinese vessel operators.
Moreover, with this Ghana will also be leading the West African region in its efforts to put an end to issues of overfishing and exploitation of its resources.