|A total of 137 fishermen have been arrested at Prampram in the Ningo-Prampram District in the Greater Accra Region for engaging in illegal fishing activities.
The suspects, including women and children were arrested by a local watchdog committee set up by the Prampram fisherfolks to prevent illegal fishing activities in the area.
However, some of the suspects were subjected to severe beatings by the Prampram fisherfolks for invading their area with their illegal fishing methods.
Confirming the incident to Graphic Online, the Prampram District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Issah Mohammed Cantonam, said the suspects were arrested between May 1 and May 7, this year.
He said the first batch of the illegal fishermen, involving 97 people, including women and children were arrested on Monday, May 1, 2017 while the second batch, comprising 40 people were arrested on Saturday, May 7, this year.
He said items retrieved from the suspects included 17 canoes, power generators, electrical cables and lights, and other illegal fishing tools.
He told Graphic Online that most of the fishermen come from Ada and Tema Newtown in the Greater Accra Region.
Explaining why some of the suspected illegal fishermen were manhandled, DSP Cantonam said when the members of the local “sea watchdog committee” confronted them, the illegal fishermen attempted to pour petrol on them thus leading to a scuffle between the locals and the illegal fishermen.
He said due to the activities of illegal fishermen, most coastal areas have set up “sea watchdog committees” as part of measures to halt the illegal activities.
He said the police have seized all the illegal fishing tools from the suspects, including their canoes.
DSP Cantonam, however, said the suspects have been granted bail but would be processed for court soon, adding that the police would also investigate the matter to deal with those who vented their anger on the suspects.