The Convenor for Fisheries Alliance, Mr Kwadwo Kyei Yamoah has reminded artisanal, inshore, and industrial trawler fishers to observe the closed season and stay off fishing for the period in a bid to replenish the fish stock.
He indicated that the fishing closed season was an important fisheries conservation tool.
He explained that as directed by Fisheries Commission, all artisanal fishers are expected to observe the Closed Season for one month from July 01 and resume fishing on August 01, 2022.
Industrial fishers are however expected to stay off fishing for two months starting from July 01 and resume fishing on September 01, 2022.
He appealed to fisherfolks to comply with the Closed Season as a very effective tool for managing Ghana’s fisheries, especially in the face of the declining fish stock.
Mr Kyei Yamoah noted that the closed season was very good when coupled with effective mechanisms to enforce the fisheries laws.
He, therefore, advised the government and stakeholders to put in place effective mechanisms to make the fisheries laws more binding to ensure proper compliance by fishers to ensure a breeding space for the fishes.
According to him, one of his major expectations was that during the season, fisherfolks with illegal nets, small mesh size nets and other unapproved nets, would be engaged to dispose of their illegal nets or better still proper replacement systems were put in place by the government to replace all the illegal nets to reduce the catching of juvenile fishes leading to a decline of the fish stock.
Of much concern to Mr Kyei Yamoah was that “during this Closed Season, the Government and stakeholders would engage fisherfolks to think about diversifying livelihoods for fisherfolks so that in subsequent years when the closed seasons are done, the economic impact on fishers will be low.”
The move, he noted, was prudent because, ” already there are too many fishers chasing the small fish so the fisheries sector is over-capacitated, and we need to address issues by reducing the effort therefore we need to be thinking around supplementary or diversified livelihoods for fishers that can engage most of the fisherfolks as a way of addressing poverty and reducing the number of fisherfolks engaged in fishing.”
Mr Kyei Yamoah noted that “with proper management of the supplementary livelihoods, subsequent Closed Season will not be an issue because fisherfolks will have something to rely on”.
He appealed to stakeholders to support the Fisheries Commission for the implementation of this year’s Closed Season.