By Isaac Asirifi, GNA
Cape Coast, Dec. 07, GNA – Irate Fishermen along the coast of Cape Coast have called on government to as a matter of urgency increase the supply of premix fuel to the area to enable them stay in business.
They said urgent steps were needed to prioritise supply of quantities of premix fuel to the area, to avoid fish shortage during Christmas.
Nana Jacob Abakah, Chief Fisherman who was among a number of fishermen who were idling at the Anaafo Beach, told the GNA in an interview that irregular supply of premix fuel had brought « misfortune » to fishing communities along the coastal stretch of the Region.
He indicated that the supply of premix fuel was woefully inadequate, and insufficient, hence driving many fishers and players in the value chain out of business.
« We have been idling for three weeks, » they said in unison. « Therefore, we wish to inform the public to prepare and find alternative means to sustain themselves as the Christmas inches, » they warned.
Fishermen here just sleep in their canoes day and night waiting anxiously for fuel, Nana Abakah said, adding, « We have exhausted our little savings and now depend on friends and relatives. »
« I can tell you on authority that we received our last consignment three weeks ago. Anytime it comes, we struggle to get it ».
The 47 year old Chief fisherman with 27 years experience in the industry described the premix fuel debacle as disincentive to fishing and a recipe for disaster that must be dealt with immediately.
Mr Kweku Quansah, 47, also said it was heart rendering to be unable to work when one was willing and ready to do so, but through no fault of theirs remained idle.
According to him, fishers who have little fuel can no longer go far on the sea to get a good catch.
The obviously peeved fishermen urged the government to increase the supply of premix fuel to enable them sustain their livelihoods.
They underlined the need for government to support them with flexible loans, reduce the price of outboard motors, and effectively implement innovative policies to revive the sector.
The fishers also proposed the establishment of breakwater that extended from the shore into the sea to protect their landing beach from the force of the waves.