The month-long fishing season, aimed at replenishing fish stocks, has left many fisherfolk jobless and grappling with financial constraints.
During a visit to landing beaches in the Municipality, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) observed that some fishers have abandoned the shores in search of alternative livelihoods, while others are repairing their nets in anticipation of the end of the closed season.
Francis Bedzo, a former Assemblyman and owner of a fishing company, expressed concern about the toll the closed season is taking on the livelihoods of fisherfolk, particularly those without alternative sources of income.
He highlighted the financial hardships they face, leading to some workers leaving for fishing groups in neighbouring countries.
Narbi Alordo, Chief Fisherman for Denu landing beach, also emphasized the adverse impact of the closed season on the daily lives of fisherfolk and their families. He called on the government to provide assistance in the form of food items and small funds to support them during this period.
Dzifa Dorkenoo, a fishmonger and leader of the ‘Mina miawor deka' fishmongers' association, echoed the sentiments, stressing the reliance of traders on the fishermen for their business.
She urged the government to consider provisions to alleviate the hardships faced by fishmongers during the closed season.
In Ghana, the closed season is observed in accordance with the Fisheries Act, of 2002 (Act 625). This year marks the seventh edition of the fishing closed season, with different periods designated for canoe and inshore fishers and industrial trawlers.
Closed seasons, or biological rest periods, are implemented globally to reduce fishing pressure on stocks and allow fish populations to replenish. They play a crucial role in protecting fish stocks and promoting their sustainable growth.