The Minister, in addition, stated that government will not provide fisherfolks in Elmina with premix fuel for “some time” as this forms part of the punishment.
Hawa Koomson has however noted that, once it is observed that the affected fishermen are complying with the laid down policies, the restrictions will be lifted.
“By the close of today [Saturday] and tomorrow [Sunday], all the landing beaches will have premix fuel, except Elmina, because we don’t want them to go fishing.
“We will refuse them some premix fuel. The logistics that they need from the government to go fishing, we will not give to them for some time,” said the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture during the reopening of the fishing season in Sekondi.
The actions taken by the Minister has been met with a bag of mixed reaction from the general public. Whereas some have argued that the punishment is harsh, others have maintained that the directive will serve as a deterrent to fisherfolks who engage in illegal practices.
Persons objecting the stance taken by the fisheries minister are of the belief that the punishment is stemmed from the fisherfolks decision to turn down items presented to them as gifts by the former when she visited them.
Some Ghanaians have been sharing their thoughts on social media:
Ibrahim Muntari on Facebook wrote: “Are we serious people at all. Before she was rewarding them with food items which they refusing to take and disgraced her. Now she is punishing them. Like how. Are they kids to be punished and her will. Like seriously what sort of country are we in.?”
Another, Norman added: “This her uncouth and unruly vindictive behaviour is very indicative of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
After all, everyone knows Akufo-Addo is vindictive and unforgiving… All because the poor fishermen rejected her items.. she’s now using the so-called light fishing to deny them their livelihood…Wicked people in high places”
Marion Gala wrote: “Hawa Koomson, are you the creator of the universe or the owner of the sea? Character is just like a pregnancy, you can never hide it, you will never change till thy kingdom comes.”
Some others have commended the Minister for ensuring that illegal fishing is dealt with according in the coastal areas.
Emmanuel Andoh wrote: “People should be made aware that those days of do as you please and choose is no more if we are to live in harmony with all. I support the minister that its high time fishing is well regulated.”
“Don’t use light in fishing but they’ll still use.. You don’t use your both hands to eat when you are extremely hungry,” Kwaku Shaize added.