Fishers in the three coastal districts of the Volta Region are reminding the Government to honour its promise to offer closed-season support to artisanal fishers across the country to alleviate their difficulties.
The reminder comes ahead of the start of the 2022 closed season to be observed from July 01-31 by artisanal and semi-industrial fishers and from July 01-August 31 by industrial fishers as announced on April 12, 2022, by Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, in charge of Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD).
The fishers who spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Monday said the month-long observance would negatively impact their livelihood if no form of support were given to them.
Madam Charlotte Segbawu, a member of Agoha Fishing Crew at Woe in the Anloga District said left her, the 2022 closed season should be suspended because the economic hardship experienced would worsen with the closure of the fishing season.
“The whole of last week, our crew didn’t make any good catches. Even today, our crew couldn’t go on a fishing expedition, and we understand that by Friday, the closed season will set in.
“You can imagine what will happen to us when we have to stay at home for the next one month without any support coming to us.”
Mr Michael Bumegbe, Chief Fisherman, Kedzikope, Keta Municipal gave an assurance that fishing crews at his landing beach would comply with the directive.
He underscored the need for the Government to support them “just as was the case during the 2021 closed season,” saying, though that could not sustain the fishers, it helped in a way.
Mr Emmanuel Anomoo Tettey, Chief Fisherman for Salakope, and who speaks for Volta Regional Chief Fishermen said fisher folks went through difficulties during the 2021 closed season period feeding themselves and their dependents and hoped this year’s support to them as promised by the Government would be more helpful.
He said: “The closed season is among measures instituted to replenish the fish stock by avoiding over-exploitation of the fishery resource. And coupled with sustainable fishing practices which we want the Government to help to enforce, we’re sure of preserving the fishing industry, which will improve our livelihoods and that of our dependents.
“That notwithstanding, we expect support from the Government. Recently at a meeting with the sector minister in Accra, she promised that we’ll take delivery of some relief items, and the women will also receive support.
“We don’t know the quantity but the promise itself is assuring.”
MoFAD in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission announced the closed season, also known as the biological rest period, to stop fishing activities to allow time for fish to breed and nurture their young as part of marine resource management.