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Green watchdog urges Ghana govt to deny licences to new Chinese trawlers June 22,2020   |  Source: GhanaWeb

Watchdog Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has deepened its call on the government to resist any attempt by the Fisheries Commission to issue licences to three Chinese trawlers that have been registered to the Ghanaian flag and are awaiting licensing, despite a moratorium on new fishing vessels due to extreme over-capacity in the existing fleet.

The pressure group alleged that already, 90 per cent of Ghana’s industrial trawl fleet is linked to Chinese ownership, saying “Ghana has the largest registry of Chinese distant-water vessels outside China.”

The new vessels—Yu Feng 1, 3 and 4—were all built-in China in 2016 and were all flying the Chinese flag before arriving in Ghana. To bypass Ghana’s laws, which prohibit foreigners from engaging in joint ventures in the industrial trawl sector, Chinese corporations operate through Ghanaian “front” companies, using opaque corporate structures to import their vessels, register and obtain a licence, EJF said.

Ghana’s Fisheries Management Plan states that 48 trawlers are the most that the fishery can sustain, yet EJF said 72 trawlers are currently licensed.

A government moratorium on fishing licences for new or replacement trawl vessels has been in force since 2012.

The Ghana National Canoe Fishermen


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