The Minster for fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Haws Koomson has stated that close season is backed by law in Ghana and has come to stay as a stock recovery strategy.

She made this statement when she joined the chiefs and people of Ekumfi Otuam in the Central Region to officially open the sea for 2022/2023 fishing season.

The sea was officially closed on 1st of July 2022 at the Tema Canoe Basin from where the ministry began with the distribution of relief items to fishers and fish processors in all the coastal regions.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Sector Minister noted that, the implementation of the 2022 Close Season was not as smooth as expected as a result of challenges in the supply of premix fuel.

She added that the preparation for the 2022 Closed Season started with the first national stakeholders meeting in March, 2022 during which the 2021 Close Season was reviewed.

The Sector Minister extended her heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders for their support in ensuring a successful Closed Season.

“On behalf of the Government of Ghana, and the Ministry I say Ayekoo to the leadership and members of the National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG), the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC), the Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association (GIFA) and the Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association (GITA) for the various roles played for the success of the 2022 closed season. Thank you, all Fisheries, for sacrificing the whole month to ensure that we recover the depleting fish stocks”.

Hon.  Hawa Koomson entreated all fishers to continue adhering to fisheries rules and regulations. “As the season opens, let us all abide by the rules of engagement in fishing activities as stated in the fisheries Act 625 as amended by fisheries (Amendment) Act 880.

‘Let us stay away from illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices such as the use of undersize mesh, DDT, light fishing, many others. Let me assure you that the fisheries Enforcement Unit would be empowered to increase patrols, arrest offenders, and prosecute them”.