CLOSED FISHING SEASON NECESSARY FOR MANAGING FISHERIES RESUORCES – MINISTER


Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson has emphasized that the annual closed season is an integral component of the strategies implemented to restore fish stocks and ensure the sustainable management of fisheries resources.

Speaking at a stakeholder engagement event aimed at implementing the 2023 closed fishing season in Accra, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson announced that the Ministry, in collaboration with partners such as the Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity, has initiated alternative livelihood training support for fishers. The program has commenced with training provided to five hundred and fifty (550) fishers in various skills, including masonry, carpentry, dressmaking, hairdressing, electronics, and auto engineering.

 

Regarding premix fuel, Hon. Koomson mentioned that twenty (20) automated outlets for premix fuel have been completed and will soon be commissioned in the country. This measure aims to prevent any illegal activities within the fuel distribution system.

She also highlighted the ongoing efforts to empower officers of the Fisheries Enforcement Unit to combat illegal activities at sea, including the pilot implementation of Electronic Monitoring Systems on trawl vessels.

 

Regarding the outcome of the 2022 closed season, Mr. Emmanuel Dovlo, the Director of the Fisheries Scientific and Survey Division of the Fisheries Commission, stated in a report that research findings from the FSSD indicated that June to August is the optimal period for the closed season based on scientific research.

 

He explained that this period is crucial as it allows the fish to reach its peak spawning period, maximizing its recruitment potential before fishermen begin to catch them. Additionally, he mentioned that small pelagic species like round sardinella and anchovies are known to be present in Ghana’s territorial waters during the same period.

 

In general, he noted that there has been an improvement in the fish stock within the country following the implementation of the closed season. This improvement has had a positive impact on food security, income generation, and the promotion of a balanced diet.

 

For the upcoming closed season, it is scheduled to commence from 1st July 2023 to 31st July 2023 for artisanal fishers, while industrial trawl vessels will observe the closed season from 1st July to 31st August 2023.