Government has announced the 2021 closed season for all fishing activities on the sea, with a caution to fishmongers to desist from applying washing powder and dye solution (‘blue’) to spoilt fish for sale and subsequent consumption.
To this end, artisan and semi-industrial fleet are to desist from all activities on the sea, from July 1 to 31 July, 2021, whilst that of industrial trawl vessels take effect from July 1 to 31stAugust.
The initiative, which was not observed due to the strict coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety management measures last year, is an important management strategy adopted by the government in rebuilding depleted marine fish stock.
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, who nnounced this yesterday in Accra, said consultation with all stakeholders in the fishery industry was done before the announcement.
She explained that the closed season was expected to reduce the excessive fishing pressure and rebuild the fish stock.
“The Ministry recognizes the fact that the desired result of implementing closed seasons will be attained when other types of illegal fishing activities, such as transshipment, and the use of poisonous and toxic chemicals, dynamites and other explosives are effectively controlled.
“In the light of these, the Ministry, in collaboration with the law enforcement agencies like the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Marine Police, would intensify the fight against all forms of illegal fishing,” Mrs Koomson said.
She said efforts were being taken towards the recovery of depleted marine fish stocks, whilst efforts were also being made to promote the development of aquaculture.
She explained that the development of aquaculture was expected to improve domestic fish production, create additional jobs along the value chain and help reduce the over-dependence on the marine fisheries resources.
The Executive Director of the Fisheries Commission, Mr Micheal Authur Dadzie, said the Commission had acquired a device to check the state of fish with fishmongers.
He said that was to ensure fish caught using illegal means would not get to the market for consumption.
BY BENRARD BENGHNAN