The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) wishes to inform the General Public, Fisheries Associations, Fishermen and Stakeholders that the Ministry through the Fisheries Commission has since 1st January 2009 not licensed or renewed the license of any fishing trawler to engage in pair trawling in Ghanaian waters.

The Ministry further wish to state that Regulation 11(1d) of the Fisheries Regulations, 2010 (L. I. 1968) prohibits any person to engage in pair trawling in the fishery waters of Ghana. Any person that contravenes Regulation 11 (1d) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than US$250,000.00 and not more than US$2 million.

The Ministry wishes to assure the General Public, Fisheries Associations, Fishermen and Stakeholders that the Ministry has put measures in place to ensure that pair trawling does not take place in Ghanaian waters. The Fisheries Enforcement Unit (FEU) of the Ministry has fitted all fishing trawlers with vessel monitoring device which is connected to the Fisheries Control Centre of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) at Tema. The VMS enables the Fisheries Enforcement Unit to monitor the activities of all fishing trawlers at sea. The fitting of the vessel monitoring device on a fishing trawler is a condition for licensing or renewal of fishing license of a fishing trawler. Section 76 (2n) of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625) empowers the Ministry to suspend or cancel the fishing licence of any fishing trawler whose vessel monitoring device fails to work. In addition, Regulation 45 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (L.I. 2217) requires that the master of a fishing trawler notifies the Ministry and the Commission immediately if the vessel monitoring device became malfunctioning.

The Ministry issued a Ministerial Directive effective 1st September 2015 that made it an offence for fishing trawlers to engage in mid-water trawling. The essence of the Ministerial Directive is to prevent fishing trawlers from catching the small pelagic fishes which are reserved for the artisanal fishermen.

The Ministry wishes to assure the General Public that it will continue to implement policies and measures that will ensure sustainable exploitation and conservation of the country’s fisheries resources for generation unborn.

Thank you

Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.