A group of fishermen from Akplabanya and its environs in the Ada West in the Greater Accra Region on Monday dawn allegedly attacked members of the Fisheries Volunteer Taskforce on the Prampram waters.
The fishermen numbering about 15 and fully armed with guns, machetes, bow and arrows and other materials, allegedly shot at the unarmed task force members.
The incident led to seven members of the taskforce sustaining various degrees of cutlass wounds.
Nii Ayetey Dinson, Chairman of the Canoe Owners Association, Prampram ,and a member of the taskforce, told the Ghana News Agency that they had information from an informant that the fishermen had planned attacking them should they confront them on their illegal fishing activities.
Nii Dinson said between 1:00 and 1:30, members of the taskforce numbering about 80, who were on patrol duties, met the fishermen on the sea at Prampram where they (fishermen) started firing arrows, gun and throwing other objects at them.
He added that they however managed to arrest 15 of the fishermen who they handed over to the police for prosecution.
He lamented that engaging in illegal fishing which involved the use of light, dynamites, carbide and DDT poses a serious health risk to consumers of fish.
The taskforce member appealed to the Ministry of Fisheries to liaise with the Ministry of Defense and Ministry for the Interior to deploy officers at the sea shore to prevent fishermen engaging in illegal fishing from anchoring to bring their catch to land.
He added that since members of the taskforce operated without weapons, it would be appropriate if the Ministry could facilitate an agreement to allow them to join the Navy and Marine Police’ vessel for patrol on the sea to avoid such attacks.
In an interview with Ghana News Agency, DSP Issah Mohammed Cantona, Prampram District Police Commander, confirmed that the 15 fishermen who were arrested on Monday were in the Prampram Police custody adding that “they would be granted bail on Tuesday and processed for court by Friday.”
Prior to this attack, some fisherfolks had staged a number of protests to register their disapproval of the introduction of the volunteers taskforce to fight and check illegal fishing activities as a means to replenish the fish stock of the country and provide healthy fish to consumers.
In May this year, over 100 fisher folks from Akplabanya clad in red calico, stormed the Otrokpe Basic School Park in Ada Foah where the inauguration of the taskforce was been held and pulled down canopies to express their displeasure at the introduction of the taskforce.