Fisheries Minister Hawa Koomson Announces 2021 Closed Fishing Season Beginning 1st to 31st July, and 31st August

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Story Reported by Gideon Kotey 

Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson has announced the closed season for the 2021 Fishing Season beginning 1st to 31st July 2021 for Artisanal and semi- industrial fleet and 1st to 31st August 2021 for the Industrial Trawl Vessels.

The Minister who made the announcement at a News Conference in Accra on Wednesday (June 16, 2021) explained that the declared closed season was based on scientific advice and in consultation with the various Fisheries Associations.

“The implementation of the Closed Season forms part of the strategies with stakeholders to reduce excessive pressure and over exploitation of stocks in the marine subsector and to help replenish the falling marine fish stocks”, the Fisheries Minister emphasized.

According to her it is expected that sustained implementation of the Closed Season will enable the sector achieve the desired long term objective of stock recovery.

“ You all agree with me that is important that necessary measures are put in place to reduce the excessive fishing pressure and allow for recovery of over exploited fish stocks and rebuild the depleted fish stocks”, She said.

The MP for Awutu Senya East who was honoured at the function by stakeholders, emphasized that to address the situation, the Ministry and Fisheries Commission in accordance with Section 84 (1) of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625) and the Marine Fisheries Management Plan (2015-2019) has been implementing the Closed Season since 2016 adding however that the 2020 closed season was not observed owing to covid-19.

“The Ministry recognizes the fact that the desired results of implementing Closed seasons will be attained when other types of illegal activities such as transshipment popularly known as Saiko, the use of poisonous and toxic chemicals, dynamite and other explosives are controlled”, Madam Koomson stressed.

Whilst expressing worry over how the marine and inland subsector have been confronted with over exploitation leading to depletion of fish species and decline of total fish landings, the Minister also reminded the stakeholders of the importance of the fisheries sector to daily lives, National development in the areas of GDP contribution, job and wealth creation as well as national food nutritional security.

She added that the sector also supports the livelihoods of 3 million Ghanaians along the Fisheries and aquaculture value chain.

In view of the above , Madam Koomson disclosed that the Ministry in collaboration with the law enforcement agencies like the Ghana Navy and Ghana Marine Police would intensify the fight against all forms of illegal fishing activities.

“To enhance monitoring, control and surveillance activities on marine water, efforts are being made to procure four patrol boats for the fisheries sector and research vessel to provide adequate data on marine fish stocks even as we embark on this recovery process” the Minister revealed.

The Minister later commended all the stakeholders for their support and urge them to observe the Closed season in their own interest.

On his part, the Executive Director of Fisheries Commission Mr. Arthur Dadzie also expressed worry over the use of illegal means of fishing resulting in the depleted fish stocks.

He stressed that the challenges in the marine and inland sun-sectors arising out of unregulated fishing activities is having a toll on women in the fishing industry as they increasingly secure loans from banks to invest in the fishing business but yields no dividend.

In that regard, Mr. Dadzie disclosed that the Commission and the Ministry have acquired a system to authenticate the quality of fishes.

The Fisheries Commission boss therefore appealed to all the stakeholders to observe the Closed Season in order to recover the declining fish stock to boost the fishing industry.

In a solidarity messages, the National Fisheries Associations of Ghana (NAFAG), the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC), the Ghana a Tuna Association (GTA) Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association (GITA) and National Fish Processors and Traders Association (NAFPTA), all rallied support for the Minister, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson and assured her of their unwavering commitment to ensure the adherence of the closed season.


Editor: Nii Amon 

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