There was spontaneous jubilation when Mrs Hawa Koomson, Ghana’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) performed a symbolic ceremony at Ekumfi-Otuam Landing Beach in the Central Region, to pave the way for the resumption of fishing activities in the country’s
Fishermen both young and old, fishmongers and the entire fishing community broke out in excitement singing and shouting as the Minister used a big key to ‘open’ the sea to signify the end of the closed season, which started on Friday, July 01 and ended on Monday, August 01.
The closed season backed by the Fisheries Act 625 and amended by Fisheries (Amendment)Act 880, forms part of strategies by government and agreed upon by stakeholders to reduce excessive fishing pressure and over exploitation of the country’s fish stock and, therefore, a stock recovery strategy.
Mrs Koomson cautioned that the law had come to stay, hence, it should be devoid of unnecessary criticisms and politicization just to frustrate fisher folks.
“The closed season has come to stay because it is backed by law neither the NPP nor the NDC can cancel it in the country,” she added.
Mrs Koomson noted that it was also to allow recovery of overexploited fish stocks and help rebuild the depleted stocks to improve on the livelihood of the fishing community.
She indicated that sustainable management of fisheries was a collective effort, hence, urged the fisher-folks to abide by the rules of engagement of the industry.
Mrs Koomson noted that the direct resource and beneficiaries of fisheries must take responsibility to ensure sustainability to improve the sector for the betterment of all.
Additionally, the Minister advised the fishers to do away with illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices such as use of undersize mesh, DDT, light fishing, among others.