The National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG), the umbrella body of five fishing associations, has held its extraordinary general meeting and elected executive members to steer the affairs of the association after adopting a new constitution.
NAFAG is made up of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council, Ghana Inland Fisheries Council, Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association, Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association, and the Ghana Tuna Association.
The election came after 20 years of being governed by overstayed officials and an interim management committee, which was put in place in 2022.
NAFAG had its last annual general meeting for the election of members of its executive council in 2003.
After two rounds of elections, Nana Joojo Solomon emerged as the elected NAFAG President after polling 26 votes to beat his closest contender, Mr. Richster Amarfio, who was declared the Vice President.
Ms. Kate Ansah, Mr. Robert Azumah, and Mr. Joseph Nii Amarh were also elected as the Secretary, Financial Secretary, and treasurer, respectively.
Mr. Solomon, who is also the President of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council, thanked the members for voting for him and promised to work together with other executive members within their two-year tenure to secure funding for its activities as well as shape and influence policy in the fisheries sector.
He bemoaned the interference of partisan politics in the fisheries sector, which he said was bringing the industry down.
He called on politicians to stop infiltrating their fronts with politics, stressing that “politicians should leave us to perform.”
He urged fishermen to practise sustainable fishing activities to ensure a decrease in the rate of depletion in the country’s fish stock.
Mr. Enock Boadu Amo, the Deputy Director, Policy, Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Directorate at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MOFAD), said in a solidarity message that his ministry needed associations like NAFAG to help in the formulation and implementation of policies in the sector.
Mr. Amo said even though MOFAD looked forward to modernising the sector, suggestions were needed from industry players on subsidies and other important sector issues.
Mr. Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, the National Programmes Coordinator, International Labour Office-Ghana, commended NAFAG for electing its executives and urged them to pay attention to the ILO C188—Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188).
Mr. Mensah said that paying attention to the convention would help fishing companies and others engage in fishing activities to adhere to its provisions, which include recruitment, medical care, occupational safety, and social security, among others.
There were other goodwill messages from the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), and the Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity (GFRA).