Specifically, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) welcomed the authorities' decision on imposing the fine.
The authorities charged three Chinese and two Ghanaian fishermen when the vessel was caught with 14 metric tons of small pelagic fish caught using illegal nets in June.
EJF reports that in an out-of-court settlement the owner of the vessel agreed to pay the fine, while the Foundation implemented an industrial trawler and the statutory minimum under Ghana’s 2014 Fisheries Amendment Act.
Moreover, Steve Trent, executive director of EJF, commented
Over 2 million people in Ghana rely on small pelagic fish for their food and income. The government should be applauded for cracking down on illegal and destructive practices that are endangering Ghanaian livelihoods and food security.
Now, the Foundation has to ensure that the fine is wholly paid, as many were the times in the past that fines have been negotiated down or opaque out-of-court settlements have obscured whether the law has been enforced.
Concluding, the small pelagic fish, also known as 'peoples' fish' in Ghana are the main catch for small-scale canoe fishers and a staple food in the country. Yet, their populations has been seriously decreased, threatening the livelihoods of the fishers and the food security of Ghana's coastal communities.