Fishermen along the coastal areas of Ellembelle district of the Western Region say the recent invasion of sea weeds known as sargassum is affecting their business and livelihood in the area.
Some of the fisher folks attributed the new occurrence to as a result of the oil production around the oil enclave areas in Nzema-land.
The fishermen living along River Ankobra and the sea shore numbered about one thousand mostly complain that the sea weeds blocks their fishing canoes from moving far to the deep areas of the sea because, the sargassum chokes their nets and their canoes.
This has drawn the attention of the MP for Ellembelle, hon. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah to chair an emergency meeting on Tuesday, 19th October, with the fishermen in Ellembelle district to discuss the phenomenon.
According to the MP, there is a public outcry about the range of possible reasons for the change, including environmental conditions, climate change and possible human activities.
The lawmaker, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah announced to establish “Ellembelle Fishermen Crisis Elevation Fund” with an initial amount of gh¢5,000 seed capital to provide financial support to rescue them from their current hardships.
The decision to establish the fund, with support from the local indigenous Banks, mining companies and other stakeholders, is in line with his social responsibilities to his constituents, he told Kaakyire Kwasi Afari.
Armah Buah stated that, in spite of the significant contribution the fisheries sector had made to the economy, it’s prudent for the ministry of fisheries, GNPC and the government to expatriate urgent remedy to curb the sargassum phenomenon along the coastal areas.
He lamented over shortage of sea fish in the market as a result of the invasion of the sea weeds which is affecting the fishing business in Ellembelle.
He revealed that, very soon, he will present a petition to the appropriate agencies, stakeholders and expert in fighting against the sea weeds to bring ideas to stop the phenomenon.
The Chief Fisherman of Ellembelle district, Nawblay Ebambey speaking to New Day FM journalist, Kaakyire Kwasi Afari, he stated that the situation was heartbreaking and gradually collapsing their business.
Mr. Ebambey bemoaned the financial crisis the situation has caused and called on the government to intervene to sustain their jobs.
Over the past 10 years, the weeds, which piled up along the coast had seen a gradual increase in size and area of coverage making it distasteful for the fishermen to go on their daily activities.
On his part, the Ellembelle district Environmental health director, Mr. Oliver Cromwell described the situation as very disastrous and critical, emphasizing that the quantum of sargassum being washed ashore is beyond the capacity of the Ellembelle district to fight against.
The situation according to the environmental expert, requires a national collaboration since the weeds contained substances that could cause headache and other diseases.
Source: Kaakyire Kwasi Afari, New Day FM.