Ghanaian fisher-folk coalition requests O&G compensation

Wednesday, 2 April, 2014

One of the lesser-known requirements of extractives CSR comes to light in this piece on Ghanaian news site Ghanaweb.com. Here we learn that the Fisher-folk Coalition on Oil and Gas of Ghana’s Shama District, an advocacy body representing those who make their living from fishing in the area, has requested compensation for members whose equipment and fishing gear have been destroyed by oil vessels. 

The Coalition was formed in response to this issue by NGO Integrated Action of Development Initiatives (IADA), with support from STAR-Ghana, a multi-donor pooled agency, to be the mouthpiece of more than 2,000 fishermen, fishmongers and people engage in fishing-related businesses in the district.

As much as we dislike the word “fisher-folk,” reminiscent as it is of the odd mawkishness of Victorian poetry towards the “working man”, it’s accepted parlance in development circles given the need for language that reflects that many such workers are not men.  And despite our willingness to criticise it is difficult to propose an alternative. “Fisherpersons” is inelegant. 

From the article, then:

“Addressing a media conference at Shama in the Western Region, [Mr Richard Addo Blankson, Secretary to the Coalition] said seismic survey vessels used by the operators of the Jubilee Oilfield for prospecting for oil wells often crash… canoes [belonging to fisher-folk] thereby destroying their equipment and fishing gear.

He noted that the restrictions on the high seas, especially around the Jubilee Oilfield had resulted in loss of traditional fishing grounds thereby reducing fish catch and worsening the plight of the fisher-folks.

[…]

Mr Blankson said the Coalition aimed at fostering cordial relationship between the oil companies, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Ghana Maritime Authority, the Marine Police Unit and the Navy in order to address their challenges.

Fishermen should be compensated for the restrictions given to them, which prevents them from fishing in their own preferred destinations as well as the increasing number of oil rigs and vessels on the high seas that pose danger to fishing activities, he said.

The Coalition also requested for regular interactions and educational dialogue with the major stakeholders in the petroleum industry, as well as periodic assessment of the health conditions of people in the fishing communities, especially those in the six coastal districts of the Region, since oil drilling could have health implications the inhabitants.”

ENDS

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=304785
http://firstknownwhenlost.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/fisher-folk.html

IMAGE: Francis Wheatley [1747-1801], Fisherfolk with baskets and nets, undated