Seismic survey not a ban on fishing, GNPC dispels fishermen's fears
Posted on: 2014-Aug-07        
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The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has dispelled claims that it intends to prevent fishermen in the Western Region from fishing during the upcoming season.

Speaking to JOYNEWS, the Acting GNPC Head of Corporate Affairs, Eric Pwadura said there’s no such plan to keep them from fishing within the survey period.

The fishermen had warned they would fiercely resist an attempt from the GNPC to sign an agreement to stop fishing within the waters between Komenda and Cape-Three points to allow a seismic survey as part of an oil and gas exploration project.

Secretary to the Sekondi Fishermen Association Joseph Eshun told Joy News last Wednesday that GNPC in December 2013 signed a deal with some companies to secure the area for the survey without consulting the fishermen.

They have come "seven months later to inform the fishermen. The most annoying part was that they will start it from 35 meters to 200 meters where the fishermen get their fish".

He feared that the plan to regulate fishing within August to November 2014 would collapse their business.

"They will regulate the system for you to do your fishing. They will use this marine people to chase our fishermen", he said.

He said the fishermen wanted assurances that "when they [GNPC] start and something happens, the government will pay the cost."

But dispelling their fears, the Head of Corporate Affairs explained that although the seismic survey was going to take 70 days starting 25th August, it does not mean that no activity can take place."

"While the ship is picking the reading in the east, the fishermen will be fishing in the west...we are not locking down that area" Eric Pwadura said.

He blamed the agitation on miscommunication.

"We have dispatched a team to the region to have another meeting with this group of fishermen that is agitating".