The urgency to improve the living and working conditions of Ghanaian fishermen on fishing vessels abroad has become increasingly evident.
Many Ghanaian fishermen face inadequate training, low wages, and harsh working conditions, rendering the profession unappealing.
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In response, the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) is collaborating with organizations like the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to advocate for decent working conditions in the fishing sector.
While Ghana has yet to ratify the ILO C188 Work in Fishing Convention, the GMA is proactively implementing its provisions ahead of official national endorsement.
The Principal Maritime Administration Officer at GMA, Awudu Enusah, has disclosed that the Authority is engaging stakeholders, enforcing the acquisition of medical and safety training certificates, and establishing a hotline for crew members to report improper working conditions.
These measures aim to ensure that fishermen enjoy equitable working conditions, similar to their onshore counterparts.
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During a discussion on the Eye on Port TV program, Mr. Emmanuel Kwame Mensah, National Program Coordinator for the 8.7 Accelerator Lab Programme at the International Labour Organisation, commended the GMA’s preliminary groundwork.
He emphasized the importance of ratifying the Work in Fishing Convention, which would provide clear mechanisms and measures to address labor issues in the sector. He expressed hope for ratification before the 2024 national elections.
Mr. Mensah highlighted the significance of addressing forced labor in the fishing industry and stressed the need for voluntary, productive, safe, and secure labor conditions for fishers and their families.