The duration for the closed fishing season will be extended from one to two months, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has stated.
The closed season, which prohibits fishers from going to sea, was observed between May and September this year, with majority of artisanal fishers observing it between May and June.
It aims to encourage the rejuvenation of marine fish stocks to improve the recent dwindling fish stock.
Mrs Quaye said fishers had so far embraced the closed season concept and called for its extension.
Addressing the 35th National Farmers Day celebration in Ho last Friday, the minister stated that: “It is worth noting that the fishermen have collectively supported this idea of the closed season and believe that next year the closed season should be held for two months”.
The recovery of the fish stocks, she noted, was essential to ensuring fishing was sustained and the livelihood of fishers and fishing communities improved.
Mrs Quaye noted that the country needed robust and modernised fisheries to help create a strong and resilient economy and said: “The ministry will continue to count on the co-operation of industry players in the implementation of the subsequent closed season”.
Mr Joseph Hemans Asmah emerged the National Best Fisher, while Nana Kwamina Bedu was honoured as the National Best Marine Fisher. Both men are from the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem municipality in the Central Region.
The Best National Inland Fisher was Mr Richard D. Fran-ang from Nadowli-Kaleo in the Upper West Region; the National Best Aqua-culturist was Mr John Coffie from Upper Denkyira West in the Central Region; and the National Best Fish Processor, Ms Eva Atitsogbe from South Dayi, Volta Region. Also the 16 regional best fishers were honoured.
As part of the pilot phase of the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs programme, she disclosed that 321 youths under the Youth in Aquaculture module have been trained in modern methods of aquaculture.
She said the three-year programme, estimated to cost GH¢1.9 million, would be fully rolled out next year.
Inmates of the James Camp Prisons, as part of the programme, have been trained and supported with aquaculture inputs such as fish feed and fingerlings to enter into aquaculture.
She mentioned that key policies, programmes and activities of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development had over the years focused on the growth of small-scale fishing and aquaculture.