Family of missing Ghanaian observer on China fishing vessel demands answers from government after five months of “no show”

Five months after Emmanuel Essien, the Ghanaian observer attached to a Chinese fishing vessel, went missing, the family is accusing the government of doing nothing to help locate their family member, ABC News can report.

Emmanuel Essien went missing from the trawler Meng Xin 15 on July 5, 2019. He was a fishing observer, one of Ghana’s frontline defenders against an overfishing crisis that is among the worst in West Africa.

According to the family of the missing observer, after their relative got missing five months ago in his line of work, it appears the government is doing very little or nothing to help find the whereabouts of their relative.

Speaking to The Guardian, James, the elder brother of Emmanuel said “I don’t believe the government and the authorities valued the work my brother was doing. If they did, they would attach some seriousness and urgency to the investigation. We know nothing. We don’t understand how it can take so long.”

Explaining the ordeal the family is going through after the disappearance of their relative, James revealed that their younger brother, Bernard, a barber has drastically lost weight and cannot sleep at night since the disappearance.

He added that all the family members have been looking forward to his return but to no avail.

He further stated that his daughter, Faustina, 6 asks for him constantly, while his son, Takyi, 12, and his four brothers and two sisters also always ask questions about Essien’s sudden disappearance.

Bernard Essien, also said his brother Emmanuel planned to quit his job. He revealed that there are days he came back and said he was worried.

The illegal and destructive practices by foreign-owned trawlers are draining the Ghanaian economy of an estimated £50m a year.

The overfishing has driven small pelagic species known as “people’s fish”, a staple diet, to the verge of collapse. It is on this basis that the government has appointed observers on all foreign vessels to represent Ghana’s interest and make sure they work in accordance with the prescribed best practices.



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