The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to develop regulation to protect the coral reef, sighted in Ghana’s territorial waters.
The regulation, which is expected to be ready by December this year, is to identify and delineate specific areas within the sea that will be protected to ensure that it is not damaged as a result of human activities.
The Director in charge of Natural Resources at the EPA, Mr Carl Fiati, in an interview said although Ghana did not have a marine protected area, the coral reef was one area that had been identified.
“We currently do not have any marine protected area. Efforts are being made to identify areas that need to be protected and one of them is the coral reef;” that is about a 100-kilometer into the sea and it goes down about 400meters. If they are not protected, trawlers will destroy them,” he said.
Subsequently, the EPA said, was developing a regulation to clearly define areas that would be protected, and would also spell out sanctions to be applied to those who flout the regulation.
“The regulation will define sensitive habitats that certain activities will be prohibited and offenders will be severely punished. The fishermen and others will be consulted for all to agree that these areas must be protected and after, that stretch will be restricted and no fishing or trawling will take place,” he said.
According to him, fishes tended to spawn and grow in these protected areas, adding that, “then you can be sure that in the future there will be more fishes. As at now, we have none, so everyone is fishing everywhere.”