18 June 2019

Ghana: Closed Season Needs Our Support for Sustainable Fishing

FISHER folks across the country yesterday returned to their jobs-what they know best-fishing!

They went back to fishing after successfully observing the one month mandatory ban on artisanal fishing in the country's waters.

According to our reporters who went to some of the landing beaches, economic activities have bounced back after a month's break.

They saw fishermen sailing their canoes unto sea while fishmongers and their customers were busily engaged in business, following the arrival of early "birds" who have landed with fish.

Indeed, they reported that there was a lot of excitement among the fishermen, fishmongers as well as customers who were at the beach, for the first time since the closed season was declared, on May 15 and ended on Saturday, June 15, 2019 to allow the diminished fish stock to grow again were in high spirit.

We are again told that as of Sunday afternoon, some fishermen had already landed at the beach with their first catch with some fishmongers busily smoking them for the market.

The first batch of fishes that landed at the beach on Sunday, were said to belong to fishermen who set sail on Saturday evening and arrived early the following morning.

According to the acting Secretary of Ghana National Canoe Fisherman Council (GNFC), Mr Commey Okine, the coming days would determine whether the closed season was successful or not.

He was optimistic, however, that the closed season would bring favourable results as they anticipate bumper harvest during the season.

Fortunately reports reaching us from the other parts of the country, especially Tema and Winneba indicate that most of the fisher folks are happy and looking forward to a good season.

They laudedthe government for the enforcement of the closed season, as they believed it would turn around the fishing industry in the country for the better.

Although the fishermen have shown total support for the closed season, they have major concern with light fishing which they described as rampant.

On our part, we have had reports that there are some recalcitrant fishermen who are flouting the law by engaging in light fishing which if not stopped, would defeat the purpose for which the closed season was introduced in the first place.

We add our voice to the loud demand by the fishermen for the enforcement of the laws against light fishing.

We commend the fishermen for fully backing the government to successfully implement the closed season which in the long run would be beneficial to all Ghanaians.

We urge all to support the concept so that it can be sustained in the interest of the entire nation.

We look forward to the second phase of the closed season from August 1 to September 30, for industrial trawlers.

We say Ayekoo, to all those who made the closed season a success.

Ghana

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