The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has inaugurated the new Elmina Fishing Harbour to improve the fortunes of the fishing industry in the country.
It formed part of the commitment of the government in ensuring the transformation of the fisheries sector.
The fishing harbour is aimed at providing adequate facilities, berthing space and creating a deep marine access to ensure the safe reception of fishing crafts.
It comprised the construction of breakwaters, quay walls, civil buildings, dredging and reclamation works of the new port basin.
Nana Kwadwo Conduah VI,The Paramount Chief of the Edina Traditional Area welcoming President Akufo-Addo
It further seeks to provide a sustainable revitalisation and the long-term development of the Elmina community.
Besides, the project would also strengthen Elmina’s position in the fishing industry and place the city at the heart of the cultural ambitions of placing Elmina among the dynamic coastal cities in the country.
President Akufo-Addo in a speech to inaugurate the project explained that, the fishing industry constitute an important sector of the nation’s economy.
He said about 60 per cent of the nation’s annual protein is derived from the fishing sector.
“It contributes about 11 per cent of our agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it employs about 20 per cent of our nation’s workforce through direct and indirect means,” he indicated.
That, he said informed the government’s commitment to improve continuously the infrastructure and conditions of the fishing industry to help improve catch, cut down post harvest losses and reduce fish import.
President Akufo-Addo further said that, there has been construction of 11 modern landing sites along the coast.
Works at the various locations, he said, was at various stages of completion.
He further said, the administration was committed towards the completion of the James Town fishing port to bring the total number of fishing ports to four.
The President challenged fishermen to desist from carrying out Illegal Unreported and Unregistered (IUU) which had affected the sector.
He urged residents and fishers to ensure that they contribute towards the maintenance of the facility.
The Paramount Chief of the Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kwadwo Conduah VI, in a statement, expressed appreciation to the Akufo-Addo administration for the construction of a harbour at Elmina.
He explained that, the traditional council had the intention of honouring President Akufo-Addo with a chieftaincy title.
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, in an address, explained that the project would provide safe landing sites for fishermen.
She explained that, the port would also contribute towards improving the fortunes of fishing communities as well as the development of the nation.
She said IUU and over fishing had affected the nation’s fishery stock.
She however indicated that, a number of interventions had been instituted to address the challenges.
The Central Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, in her address, said the region has a 138 km of coastal land from Kasoa to Elmina.
She acknowledged the role of fishers towards the stability and development in the region.
Mrs Assan noted that, the landing beach committees managing the premix fuel distribution had also initiated and completed a number of projects in their areas.
She lauded the government for supporting such a project which she indicated was a game changing one.
The Regional Minister expressed the hope that the ongoing projects at the various landing sites would be completed on schedule.