Mr Speaker, I thank you so much that it has pleased you to give me this opportunity to make a contribution.
Mr Speaker, in response to similar international concerns, this House enacted Act 625 and followed up with the Legislative Instrument (LI) to allow for the enforcement of the regulations.
Mr Speaker, I am from a fishing community and I am sad to bring this to the attention of the House, that as part of the enforcement, severally, navy officials, policemen and enforcement officials from the Fisheries Commission go round the fishing communities, seize the nets of our fishermen, and at the end of the day, they do not get them back.
Mr Speaker, I took the opportunity to visit their offices to find out what the challenge was, and I only realised that, whereas there is this particular net, which is a monofilament net, which when you use for marine fishing, is illegal -- When you use it for inland fishing, it is legal. The reason is that, when you use it for marine fishing, it leads to ghost fishing, and it also destroys the propellers of some vessels.
Mr Speaker, we know that the fishing industry in Ghana is very informal. Therefore, in responding to international concerns and thereby enacting laws, we must ensure that within our own set-up, there is that education, that our people would appreciate the effects of the law, else, what is happening to our fishermen in Winneba, Shama, Sekondi and Keta -- those who have been able to raise some funds are now having boats or vessels - would have similar challenges, and the response would not be very palatable for Government.
So, much as I support the need for this amendment, I would want to urge the Hon Minister, that when it gets to enforcement of the law, the fundamental thing to be done is to ensure that there is proper education.
Our people understand and appreciate the law. If you go all out like the way the enforcement unit of the Fisheries Commission is doing, where they just seize everything of the people in our communities -- they have nothing. They are unable to pay for children's school