The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has officially announced this year’s closed season for inshore and artisanal fishers along with the coastal areas of Ghana.
The closed season which starts today, Thursday 1st to 31st July for canoe and inshore fishers and 1st July to August 31, 2021, for industrial trawlers was declared by the Minister at a ceremony held on Wednesday in Keta in the Volta region.
The symbolic closure ceremony was attended by the leadership of fisherfolk from the Western, Greater Accra, Central and Volta regions who pledged their support towards the initiative and called on their colleagues to adhere to good fishing practices when the season finally opens.
While declaring the closure, the Minister indicated that the closed season was necessary for ensuring a reduction in excessive pressure and over-exploitation of fish stocks in the marine sub-sector.
She said, “We need to constantly remind ourselves that the Marine and inland sub-sectors have been confronted with challenges that have the tendency to overturn the benefits from the fisheries sector if no action is taken. Currently, it is evident that fishery resources are overexploited and there are signs that some fish species have depleted.”
She added that the expectation is that sustained implementation of the closed season will enable the sector to achieve long-term objectives of stock recovery.
The Minister also announced that government would provide some livelihood packages aimed that will support the fisherfolk as they observe the closed season.
“We have begun a process to ensure that you are supported during this period. We are already in the procurement process, so very soon, within a week or two, you will see us coming round to your regions, your fishing communities to give you something small to take care of your children. We would also come round with some fishing nets to share with you and it tells you that you cannot use the unauthorized net to go fishing.”
The Minister while in the region also led the distribution of some 192 outboard motors to the fishing communities in Ketu South, Keta, and Anloga districts.
This year’s season closure is expected to be monitored closely by the Ministery with support from the leadership and other stakeholders in the sector in ensuring compliance by the fisherfolk.
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