Namely, the Minister Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye said that it is Ghana's priority to ensure the recovery of fish stocks and sustainability of the sector. This means that the illegal practice of saiko must end.
In fact, during 2018, after a two-month closed season for industrial trawlers, Ghana enhanced action against saiko, leading to in a high-profile arrest. After that, there was a notable fall in saiko activities at Elmina, a major landing site for saiko fish in Ghana’s Central Region.
However, since then, saiko activities have increased. Specifically, EJF reported that saiko landings started again at Elmina port just a few months after the arrest, with up to 15 saiko canoes landing fish every day.
Commenting on this development, EJF's Executive Director, Steve Trent, said that Ghana must investigate all suspected cases of saiko fishing and make sure that cases are prosecuted transparently.
Saiko can be punished by a fine of between US$100,000 and US$2 million, while the minimum fine increases to US$1 million if catches contain juvenile fish or the use of banned fishing gears.
Mr. Trent added that the eradication of saiko will improve food security and protect jobs. It will also stimulate the economy and advance the wellbeing of the nation.
Minister Quaye’s statement is a very positive sign, and I whole heartedly applaud it. But it is not enough. What is needed is the immediate, effective and transparent enforcement of the law