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Business News Sat, 31 Jul 2021

Fishing season re-open as Minister highly rates compliance level

The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has performed a special ceremony at the Albert Bosomtwi Sam Fishing Harbor in Sekondi to officially open the fishing season for the Canoe and Inshore Fishers with a passionate plea to fishers to desist from engaging in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.

She stressed that government’s efforts at recovering the fish stock through the closed season will be worthless should they continue with IUU.

Fishers along the coast of the country last month observed the closed season and with that ceased all forms of fishing expedition and activities for 31 days.

The closed season, instituted in 2016, forms part of strategies agreed with stakeholders to help reduce excessive fishing pressure and over-exploitation of fish stock.

The measure is also to allow the recovery of overexploited fish stock and help rebuild the depleted marine fish stock.

Addressing fishers from all the coastal regions in Ghana, the sector minister expressed confidence that the closed season will enable the sector achieve the desired long-term objectives of stock recovery.

She registered her Ministry’s readiness to enforce every single law on fishing and its related activities while also providing the adequate and the necessary logistics to enable the Fisheries Commission discharge its duties including education and enforcement.

“It is my expectation that we will all cooperate as we co-manage the fisheries for a more profitable fisheries sector,” Mavis Hawa Koomson said.

“Let us say no to saiko, light fishing, use of dynamite, DDT, monofilament net and small-sized nets in fishing,” she pleaded

She explained that “to lessen the negative impacts of the 2021 Closed Season, Government through the Ministry supported our fishers by distributing rice and oil across the four coastal regions. We are grateful that majority of fishers were able to benefit from the support”.

Closed Season

Assessing this year’s closed season, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister stated the the compliance level was very commendable.

“There were some recalcitrant ones. But I believe generally the compliance level was about 98 percent and it is commendable.”

She added: “I think this impressive compliance is because the fishers themselves are aware of the benefits of the closed season. They know that the fish stock is depleting and something must be done. This closed season they know will help with them. So, it has come to stay and my ministry will ensure that everything is done to replenish the fish stock”.

Chairman for the ceremony Nana Kobina Nketsiah V, the Paramount Chief of Essikadu Traditional Area, observed that with the increase in pirate activities along the Gulf of Guinea, fishermen must be conscious of their surroundings and immediately report any suspicious activities they see while at sea.

“As many have said already, I will also want to entreat our fishermen to stop illegal practices at sea. We want to continue enjoying our fish.”

From one fishers association to the other, they spoke of the need to guard against acts that will further deplete the fish stock.

Some of the fishers admitted that the fish stock is depleting because of their own actions and inaction.

They, therefore, pledged to shun away from IUU’s.

The industrial trawlers will, however, continue to observe the closed season until Tuesday, August 31.
Source: 3news.com