The Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana (CaFGOAG), an affiliate of the National Union of Teamsters and General Workers (NUTEG of GFL), a trade union organization, has deployed life jackets to artisanal fishers as part of an effort to promote safety at sea in Ghana’s artisanal fisheries.
So far, some fishers in Shama, Apam, and Akplabanya have received life jackets from CaFGOAG.
At a gathering on December 30, at Akplabanya in Ada West of the Greater Accra Region, the President of CaFGOAG, Nana Kweigyah, urged canoe owners and fishing crews to prioritize safety, including occupational health, to protect lives at sea.
In a statement signed by the Secretary-General of NUTEG, Mr. Desmond Sackey, he assured to promote the use of life jackets among fishers, promising to ensure that proper arrangements are made to supply canoe owners with life jackets on a credit basis, to be paid in instalments over a period.
The group further appealed to the Ghana Maritime Authority, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), and other institutions and NGOs to support fishers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) towards the promotion of safety at sea.
Mr. Sackey entreated canoe owners to provide PPEs for their crews since it breaches the laws of Ghana for the crew to work in an unsafe environment without adequate personal protection.
He cited Section 118 (1) of Act 651 (The Labour Act 2003), which stipulates that, “It is the duty of every employer to ensure that his/her employees work under satisfactory, safe, and healthy conditions.”
He urged the government to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 188.