The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in collaboration with GOIL Company Limited, has engaged stakeholders in the industry to discuss fuel bunkering services for marine fishing vessels.
The meeting was also to identify problems hindering the sector and find pragmatic solutions to improve the sector and ensure sustainability for the workers
The meeting also discussed illegal bunkering services and other activities hampering progress in the sector.
Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said fuel bunkering constituted an important operation for marine fishing vessels and so the ministry agree on the need to guarantee safe, timely, and closely monitored bunkering services for vessel owners.
She said vessel owners also need to be protected from piracy, extremist activities, and any issues bothering transshipment.
The Minister said currently, the offshore Marine Gasoil (MGO) bunkering operations within the Ghanaian territorial waters were mainly serviced by oil companies who may not necessarily have the requisite operating permits from the regulatory bodies.
It is worth noting that payments and proceeds realized from the sale of MGO to fishing vessels in Ghana by the companies were paid directly into foreign accounts and thereby depriving Ghana of the necessary foreign exchange and taxes, she stated.
She expressed worry at the rate of illegalities in the sector and urged the stakeholders to adhere to the rules and regulations governing the fisheries sector.
Mr. J. B. Tagoe, GOIL Head of Technical and Special Products, said there was a need for transparency, truthfulness, honesty, and a high sense of integrity in doing business as the disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic led to significant global economic downtown, which also led to the global recession.
He said GOIL throughout the last two years, offered offshore bunkering operations alongside the several years of delivering MGO on shore at the Ghana Bunkering Service (GBS) Tema, Sekondi Naval Base, and Takoradi Port.
Mr. Tagoe said GOIL would continue to build a dynamic organization while remaining committed to its aspirations, mandate, and mission.
He said GOIL would continue to have a longer and more fruitful connection with the Ministry, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders.