Fisher folks who defy close season will be prosecuted – Fisheries Minister warns

Chief Fishermen who allow fishermen from their jurisdiction to contravene the close season regulation will be prosecuted, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, has warned.

The ministry, she warned, would additionally stop allocating premix fuel to landing beaches whose fishermen engage in illegal fishing activities.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark this year’s fishing close season at Tema on Friday, Mrs Koomson said the Artisanal and Inshore Fleet would observe the close season from July 1 to July 31, 2022 while the Industrial Trawlers would observe it from  July 1,  2022 to August 31,  2022.

According to her, the close season implemented by MoFAD in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission and other stakeholders was in accordance with section 84 of the Fisheries Act 625 that seeks to, among other objectives, allow replenishment of the country’s over exploited and depleted fish stocks as that the schedule was the favourable period for fishes to reproduce.


Mrs Koomson said the ministry realigned the close season taking into account scientific evidence and consultation with industry players.


The minister expressed the hope that no fisherman would engage in light fishing, fishing with monofilament net, fishing with chemicals among other things when the fishing season opens as doing so would erode all the gains associated with the measure.


She noted that the warning (yellow card) issued to Ghana by the commission leading the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing worldwide was still in effect, so all must collaborate to reverse the trend.


She expressed concern about the volume of plastic waste in the sea and encouraged all to stop polluting the environment with plastics.


The Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tema, Yohane Armah Ashitey, said the Tema Metropolitan Assembly would register fishermen in Tema and collaborate with the Ghana Navy to ensure they get adequate supply of premix fuel for their fishing expedition.


Acting President of National Fisheries Association of Ghana, Simon Agah, on his part expressed the hope that no negative incidents would be recorded during the close season as this year’s exercise had involved broad consultation and agreement.


A chief fisherman of Tema, Nii Mator, appealed to Mrs Koomson to help stop the ‘China fishing vessels’ in the country from operating in areas of the sea reserved for artisanal fishermen.

FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA

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