Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development ends 2023 closed fishing season

The has officially concluded this year's closed season for canoe and inshore fishers in Ghana. The closure was celebrated in a vibrant ceremony held in Adina, .

The Ministry commended the fishers for their cooperation during the closed season while cautioning that those who disregard regulations will face stringent penalties in the future.

Since 2015, the Ministry has enforced a one-month closed season as per Section 84 of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625). This period, known as the biological rest period, coincides with the fish stocks' spawning phase.

The cessation of fishing activity allows fish to reproduce and replenish the population, compensating for losses caused by fishing and natural factors.

The eighth closed season, which spanned from July 1, 2023, to August 1, 2023, has now concluded. Moses Anim, the Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, announced the conclusion of the closed season.

He expressed gratitude to the fisherfolk for their adherence to the regulations and issued a stern warning about the forthcoming strict penalties for those who do not comply in the future.

The Chairman of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council, Jojo Solomon, emphasized the positive impact of closed fishing seasons on their catch during an address. He cited research statistics supporting the effectiveness of closed seasons, provided illegal fishing practices are curtailed.

Solomon stated, “Fortunately, our researchers have told us that statistics are already proving that the closed seasons are being effective and are positively impacting our catch provided we will stop all the illegal forms of fishing.”

Furthermore, Solomon highlighted the urgent need for the depoliticization of the fisheries industry, asserting the importance of fishermen taking control of their livelihoods.

He questioned the involvement of non-fishers in the distribution of premix fuel and emphasized the significance of industry ownership.

“We need to own our own industry because we do not have any other form of livelihood except this fishing business, so we need to guard the industry. Why are non-fishers getting so much involved in the distribution of premix fuel?” Solomon questioned.

In alignment with the call for effective enforcement of closed seasons, Maxwell Lugudor, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for , requested support from the marine police.

Lugudor sought assistance to ensure proper enforcement of closed seasons, particularly in preventing recalcitrant fishers from crossing borders to neighbouring countries for fishing, which diminishes the intended impact of the closed season.

“I have a few requests to make, one is that we need support to ensure that the law on closed seasons is properly enforced because what happens is that some recalcitrant fishers cross the border with their boats to neighbouring to fish thereby reducing the intended impact of the closed season,” Lugudor stated during his address.

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