The 2023 closed season for canoe and inshore fishers in Ghana has come to an end, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has officially announced.
In an event held at Adina in the Volta region, the ministry commended the fishers for their corporation in the course of the period and warned that deviant individuals will be meted out with stringent punishments in the coming years.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development instituted a one-month closed season in alignment with the section 84 of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625).
The recess from fishing enables fish to lay eggs to replenish the fishing population lost through natural occurrences or fishing.
The Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Moses Anim, during the closing ceremony, expressed his gratitude to the fisherfolks for their compliance.
He reiterated that persons found culpable of bad fishing practices will be punished severely in the subsequent years.
Jojo Solomon, Chairman of the National Canoe Fisherman Council ( NCFC), said in his closing remarks that the closed seasons have proven to aid their catch.
“Fortunately, our researchers have told us that statistics are already proving that the closed seasons are effective and are positively impacting our catch provided we will stop all the illegal forms of fishing.
“We are demanding the total depoliticization of the fisheries industry. We need to own our own industry because we do not have any other form of livelihood except this fishing business, so we need to gourd the industry. Why are non-fishers getting so much involved in the distribution of premix fuel?” Citinewsroom quoted him as having said.
Maxwell Lugudor, the MCE for Keta, made an appeal for support from the Marine Police to help enforce the closed season in coming years.
“I have a few requests to make, one is that we need support to ensure that the law on closed seasons is properly enforced because what happens is that some recalcitrant fishers cross the border with their boats to neighboring Togo to fish thereby reducing the intended impact of the closed season,” he said.