Ocean-monitoring satellites have been set up to control fishing activities during the closed season in August, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has said.
Speaking on TV3’s New Day with Bright Nana Amfoh on Monday, Acting Chief Director at the Ministry Professor Francis K. E. Nunoo said a monitoring and control satellites unit located at the Tema and Takoradi offices will help the Ministry to arrest offenders.
Ghana has declared a closed season from Tuesday, August 7 to Tuesday, September 4 in order to, among others, replenish the ocean.
But the declaration by the Ministry has not gone down well with some fisherfolks.
Some fishermen who spoke to TV3 said their views were not solicited in the formulation of the regulation.
But Prof Nunoo of the Commission said the concept of a closed season has been on the drawing board since 1997.
It was in 2015 that the Fisheries Management Plan was finally gazetted, he disclosed.
And even that did not come without two years of “wide consultations” with stakeholders including fishermen, the former lecturer pointed out.
A closed season for trawlers was declared in January and subsequently lifted in March.
Mr Nunoo admits there was a marginal improvement in fish stock in Ghana’s waters after that move.
He said during the two-month season, fisher folks were told the exercise will be extended across board.
So they are aware, he insisted.
He said the ocean-monitoring satellite known as VLA will help monitor activities on-shore and offenders will be sanctioned.
The Marine Police and the Ghana Navy are involved in the operation.
Those who cannot be arrested onshore will face the consequences of their offence when they come to renew their licenses, he hinted.
“If you have done any infractions, you will not be able to export your fish.”
A lecturer at the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences, Professor Patrick Ofori-Dadson, who was also on the programme, said the monitoring satellites can detect all those engaged in fishing during the closed season.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh