Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association throws support behind ban on fishing

Ms Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister of Fisheries And Aquaculture

Ms Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister of Fisheries And Aquaculture

Members of the Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association (GIFA) have expressed their utmost support for the closed season on fishing activities in the country.

 

The group said that they were in support of any activity that would replenish marine stock, adding, “If the close season will help the fishing industry, then we totally support it.”

 

They, however, appealed to the government to effectively tackle the issue of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) which was affecting the fisheries sector.

 

The president of the GIFA, Joseph Nii Armah Quaye, said these at a programme organised by members at Elmina in the Central Region.

 

The members were from Sekondi, Elmina, Mumford, Accra, Tema, Axim, Ada and Ningo-Prampram.

 

The closed season which commences on August 7 and ends on September 4, is a major step in achieving sustainable fisheries as well as helping in replenishing the depleting fish stock in the marine sub-sector.

 

Mr Quaye stated that the group would abide by the announced date for the commencement of the closed season.

 

He, however, called on the government to consult the fishermen before the implementation of such a policy aimed at promoting national development.

 

According to him, some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) the government collaborate with were only interested in the money they receive from donors and not necessarily the concerns of fishermen.

 

He explained that, engagement for the implementation of the closed season started in 2013 and that the current government was only implementing the agreed policy.

 

“As a group, we are making it clear that we are not against the closed season but the timing was not well coordinated” he said.

 

He further said “We support this initiative and hope that it will bring the needed benefit to the fisheries sector.”

 

The deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mr Ato Cudjoe, in his address to the fishermen, said the implementation of the closed season policy was for the improvement of marine stock and not to punish anybody.

 

He noted that, the period would also be used to research into the spawning of fish.

 

That, he said, would really analyse scientific evidence of fishes spawning during August.

 

Mr Cudjoe also expressed the government’s commitment to dealing with fishermen who use illegal fishing methods like dynamite and other chemicals as well as light fishing.

 

He urged fishermen from the various fishing communities to embrace government’s policy of registering all canoes within the sector to generate database to improve the fishing industry.

 

He expressed the commitment of government to collaborate with fishermen and players within the sector in the implantation of subsequent closed seasons.

FROM DAVID O. YARBOI-TETTEH, ELMINA

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