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The President of the Canoe and Fishing Gears Owners Association, Nana Kweigyah, has urged the flag bearer and leader of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, to consider implementing a comprehensive social security policy for members of the fishing industry when he becomes president after the December 2024 polls.

During the NDC flag bearer’s visit to the Tema Fishing Community on Saturday, Nana Kweigyah expressed concern about the challenging circumstances faced by fishers upon retirement or in the event of accidents while at sea.

He called on Mr Mahama to adopt a similar policy he has proposed for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) members and also provide insurance for fishers in case of accidents.

He criticised the politicisation and discrimination in distributing premix fuel and outboard motors to fishermen, requesting the restoration of the Premix Fuel Committee once the NDC forms the next government in 2025.

Nana highlighted the poor sanitation conditions at landing beaches in the country, emphasising that they are inundated with plastic waste, posing a danger to the fishing community.

Members of the association from various regions, other associations in the fishing industry and chief fishermen expressed their concerns about the negative impact of the closed season on artisanal fishers.

In his response, President Mahama recalled his engagements with the artisanal fishing community as vice president and president of the country and assured them of his commitment to reinstating the Landing Beach Committee, promoting youth involvement in beach sanitation, and enforcing the exclusive zone policy with support from the Ghana Navy.

He promised that the next NDC government “will exempt artisanal fishers from the closed-season policy” and also complete the National Fisheries College, initiated by the late President John Atta Mills, to ensure that fishing industry members receive appropriate training and are practical and efficient in their work.