The Central and Western Fishmongers Improvement Association (CEWEFIA), has launched an action plan aimed at curbing child labour and child trafficking in the fishing industry in Elmina.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored campaign, seeks to tackle the root causes of poverty among fishermen and fishmongers, on the premise that poverty is what drives the abuse of children.
CEWEFIA launched the campaign headlined Sustainable Fisheries Management Project on Monday at Elimina, under the auspices of the Elmina Traditional Council, with Nana Kofi Kondua VI, the Omanahene of Elmina in attendance.
The launch was preceded by a float by the all-women members of CEWEFIA, dressed in red, through the streets of Elmina to create awareness about child labour and trafficking children to be used in fishing.
In her speech, the Executive Director of CEWEFIA, Victoria Churchill Koomson, lamented that, “It is very sad to see children of about seven and eight years taken to fishing”.
On unapproved fishing practices, she advised fishmongers to “stop buying fishes caught through light fishing and fishing through the use of dynamite”, noting that it will discourage fishermen who engage in unapproved fishing from continuing the practice.
She further enumerated challenges facing fishing communities such as “illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in Elmina, low publicity of fishing issues and weak enforcement of fisheries and child protection laws”.
Other teething challenges she mentioned are child protection laws and “high post-harvest losses due to unhygienic and unhealthy fish handling, maternal and child health issues and poverty in fishing communities”.
The campaign is basically to keep children in fishing communities in the classroom and to economically empower women who are in the fishing industry in and around Elmina.
CEWEFIA also operates in Shama and Sekondi in the Western Region, as well as other fishing communities in the Central Region.
By: Joseph Ackon-Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana