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July and August declared closed seasons for Fishing

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The Minster for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson on behalf of Government and the Ministry, has officially announced the 2023 fishing Closed Season.

The Minster for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson on behalf of Government and the Ministry, has officially announced the 2023 fishing Closed Season.

This came to light at a stakeholder meeting held in Accra which forms part of activities to engage stakeholders on the outcome of the 2022 Closed Season.

The Minister however announced that, as part of the measures, the Canoe and Inshore Fishers would observed the Closed Season from 1st – 31st July 2023.

Furthermore, the Industrial Trawlers would also observe the Closed Season from 1st July To 31st August 2023.

 

The fishery resources she mentioned, have been the economic backbone of many fishing communities in the country for centuries. “It is therefore important that, we manage our fisheries sustainably to promote the wellbeing of these communities”.

Hon. Hawa Koomson further disclosed that, the fisheries sector is threatened by depletion of fish stocks as shown by the low catches confirmed by fishers in recent surveys. “This decline in catches is as a result of climate change, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, excessive fishing capacity and overfishing among other factors”.

She said, the implementation of the Closed Season is part of the series of strategies to recover fish stock and ensure sustainable management of the fisheries resources.

According to Hon. Hawa Koomson, studies have shown that most fishers rely on fishing as the main source of their livelihood and therefore, any adverse effect on fishing could affect livelihoods among fishing communities.

“Therefore, the Ministry and its partners, including the Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity has launched the alternative livelihood training support for fishers starting with five hundred and fifty (550) fishers in masonry, carpentry, dressmaking, hairdressing, electronics and auto engineering etc in selected Communities along the coast. This training would be scaled up to cover 8,000 fishers aged from 18 to 35years. After the training, trainees would be supported to set up to ensure that they can earn incomes from their trade”.

The Ministry she indicated, during the 2022 Closed Season distributed 20,000 bags of rice and 8,333 oil to support fishers during the closure. “As we have always indicated, the relief items are not sufficient to whole support the fishers during the one (1) month Closed Season. We therefore, encourage fishers to save towards the period. I must also mention that, the fishers have been supported with 6,000 wire mesh, 20,000 basins, 1710 chest Freezers and 1150 outboard motors”.

She however, thanked the gallant fishers and development partners for their continuous support in implementing the Closed Season and the stock recovery efforts. “I am certain that, if we continue this for sometime we will reverse the dwindling trend of our fish stock”.

The Ministry Hon. Koomson averred, would continue to empower the Fisheries Enforcement Unit to curb any illegal activity adding that the Ministry would pilot the use of Electronic Monitoring System on trawl vessels this year. “We thank the Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity Program for funding and technical assistance for this pilot”.

The Director for Fisheries Scientific Survey Division of the Fisheries Commission, Mr. Emmanuel Dovlo when presenting the assessment report on fishing season recommended that, the closed season in July ensured the species spawned majority of fish harvested in August and September and matured as, the less immature is allowed to be recruited into the fisheries in the succeeding spawning seasons.

Also, the closure improved food income and balanced diet within the fishing households. Furthermore, the landing of small pelagic species, Round sardinella and Anchovy, were higher after the closed season.

The mean length of the species according to the report, exploited within the upwelling season and were beyond the length at first maturity and the minimum allowable landing size.

 

 

 

 

 

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