The scheme is to ensure that children of fishermen remain in school and the end of the incidence of such children strolling riverbanks, Madam Sherry Ayittey, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, has said.

She was speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting at Abotoase in the Biakoye District.

Checks by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) indicate that a good number of children of fishermen drop out of school and take to fishing with a few receiving financial support from the Landing Beach Committees to remain in school.

Madam Ayittey said the scheme would address that situation, as done for cocoa farmers.

She said the Ministry would also provide insurance cover for one million fishermen across the country by August this year to ‘cushion’ them against bad times and reiterated the Government’s commitment to the sector.

Madam Ayittey said the Ministry would pay all the premiums and asked fishermen to take advantage of the opportunity to enhance their lot.

She said the government had also given out outboard motors at a subsidised price of GHC 6,000.00 instead of GHC12,000.000 and asked fishermen to visit their local assemblies for the motors.

Madam Ayittey said concerns about the creation of landing beaches, harbours and premix fuel distribution were being addressed and appealed to fishermen to desist from illegal fishing methods.

She said the Ministry was establishing community watchdog committees to check such practices.

Mr Francis Akorlor, the Volta Regional Director of Fisheries, said the continuous use of chemicals in fishing, use of bamboos, small mesh nets, winch nets and seine nets were leading to the dwindling of fish stock levels and health concerns.

The Ministry presented 150 aluminium basins and wire-mesh to fishmongers in the 13 districts along the Volta Lake.

The Volta Lake said to hold a lot of fish species, is exploited by 130,000 fishermen, operating some 13,000 canoes and living in riparian fishing communities in 13 districts.

GNA

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