Ghana - Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Kingsley Ato Cudjoe
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture is set to announce a closed season for all kinds of fishers in Ghana.
The move by the Ministry, according to the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Kingsley Ato Cudjoe, is a major step in achieving sustainable fishing, which is also intended to help replenish the depleting fish stock in the marine sub-sector.
The Deputy Minister was speaking at the launch of a fish processing demonstration centre for Fishmongers in the Western and Central regions. “Very soon, we’re going to announce a closed season for all kinds of fishers from the drag nets people to our artisanal fishermen, semi-industrial fishermen and trawlers. Everyone that fish from the sea would have to sit down for one month.”
“We believe that time will give the fishes that have eggs the opportunity to lay their eggs and bring forth new fish in the sea to ensure that we’re replenishing the stock,” he explained.
To deal with the issue of post-harvest losses and to ensure a better way of processing and packaging fish for the market, the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project through the USAID have renovated a fish processing and demonstration facility for the Central and Western Fishmongers Improvement Association (CEWEFIA).
The Fish processing facility which was previously a fish smoking shed has now been upgraded into a well-furnished facility to make the processed fish meet international standards.
The facility is expected to serve as a training and demonstration centre where fish processors would be trained on the best practices of fish handling, processing and packaging. Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Kingsley Ato Cudjoe is upbeat the project will add value to the fish that are sold on the market.
“It is a project that will put a lot of money in the hands of our women in terms of fish that have value internationally. This cannot happen if we continue engaging in illegalities that destroy our sea,” he intimated. Chief of party of the Sustainable fisheries Management Project, Maurice Knight, urged all actors in the fishing industry to help save the depleting fish stocks.
“The fish stock is collapsing now. We need an urgent action to fight this. This action is not going to come easy. It requires that we all put our shoulders to the wheel to fight the illegalities,” he ended. The fishmongers expressed joy at the completion of the project. With songs of thanksgiving, they prayed the facility helps improve their economic fortunes.