The Fisheries Ministry has placed a ban on fishing by industrial trawlers from August 1, to October 1, and threatened any vessel that flouts the directive with a $1-million fine.
The sector Minister, Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, who announced this in an interview added that the ban on industrial trawler fishing was part of moves to replenish the dwindling fish stock in the country’s territorial waters.
She said there were enough monitoring mechanisms put in place to ensure that the ban was adhered to.
Explaining further, Mrs Quaye said the Ghana Navy and the Marine Police were ready and alert and had already installed some tracking devices on licensed fishing vessels, while a monitoring team from the ministry, supported by local fishermen, was also on the lookout for trawlers that would contravene the order.
This year’s closed season for small-scale fishermen was begun on May 15, 2019, and ended on June 15, 2019. Artisanal fisherfolk have suggested that the closed season should be timed well and in synchronisation with all types of fishers.
Mrs Quaye said, “information gathered so far from fishermen indicates that there is the improvement in fish catch this year”.
She said some fish species thought to be extinct, including a class of small herring and a local fish popularly known as ‘kankan’, were caught this year by some fishermen.
Refuting media reports that some fishermen had complained of low fish catch after the closed season this year, she said the issue of dwindling fish stock had been with humanity for the past three decades.
“The issue of dwindling fish stock has been with us for three decades now. We are aware of the challenges and that is why we are working closely with fishermen and other stakeholders to have the situation improved tremendously by the next decade,” she said.