The government of Ghana has been urged to consider a policy on the safety and security of persons engaged in fishing in the country.
This, according to members of the Ghana Canoe and Gear Owners Association, should be the highlight of the year in perspective as the country marked the global Drowning Prevention Day on July 25, reports ghenvironment.org.
Every July 25, the world marks this day, as set aside by the United Nations, to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities.
The day is also set aside for stakeholders to offer life-saving solutions to help people avoid drowning and its related challenges, the report added.
Addressing these concerns in a statement, the association said that as key stakeholders in artisanal fisheries, the policy would be a major boost for their members.
It added that around the world, small-scale fishing ranks among the world’s most dangerous professions with people living and working in communities dominated by fishing placed at high risks of drowning, due to the increased exposure to water.
“Children of fishers who live in close proximity to water are also at high risk of drowning, and it is sad to note that drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children and youth,” the statement said.
Also, the statement noted that fishing in bad weather, fishing in unsafe waters, using unsafe canoes or fishing boats, contribute to the high-risk practices in artisanal fisheries.
It added that the lack of appropriate safety equipment and allowing fishing boats to be operated by the untrained or fatigued crew, make up these challenges.
“As the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development takes steps to come up with a new Fisheries Law and a new Fisheries Management Plan, it is important to consider a policy on Safety and Security of Fishers, including an Operationalized Strategy that takes into consideration, training for rescue persons for fishers, training for fishers before joining crew, setting up a distress call line and rescue services, fishers going to sea in life jackets and with other safety gears, and installation of Automatic Identification System (AIS) on canoes”, the statement added.