Ghana: Fisheries Ministry Lifts Ban On Artisanal Fishing

Adina — The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development on Tuesday symbolically opened the ‘Closed Season’ for the resumption of artisanal fishing activities in the country.

The closed season is a temporary ban placed on fishing by the ministry annually as a strategy to recover fish stock, and allow for regeneration of fish stock in the country’s waters.

However, the Industrial trawl fleets would have to wait until September.

The sector minister, Ms Hawa Koomson, in an address read on her behalf to symbolically open the sea at a short national ceremony here at Adina in the Volta Region, urged fishermen to refrain from negative fishing practices that endangered aquatic life but abide by regulations that promote fishing activities.

Ms Koomson whose speech was read by her deputy, Dr Moses Anim, said the country’s fish stock would only be attained when illegal fishing practices such as the use of unauthorised fishing nets, poisonous and toxic chemicals, dynamites and other explosives, as well as light fishing were stopped.

According to her, reports from the monetary activities of the Fisheries Commission and other stakeholders indicated that there was higher fisher compliance during the closed season directive across the 187 villages and 278 landing beaches in the country, which demonstrated collective acceptance of the closed season as an important marine fisheries management strategy.

Ms Koomson stressed that her ministry in collaboration with enforcement agencies like the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Marine Police (GMP) would intensify monitoring and surveillance activities on marine waters.

She said the implementation of the ministerial directive on trawl gear selectivity, would be continued to help reduce the catch of juvenile fish, and addressed the issue of excessive bi-catch and dumping.