Partners of the Fisheries Governance Improvement Project congratulate the government on the closure of the fishing season
The implementing partners of the project to improve fisheries governance commended the government for simultaneously implementing the closure of the fishing season for all fleets except tuna.
“We commend the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission for adhering to one of the recommendations of Ghana’s Scientific and Technical Working Group on Fisheries (STWG) in 2020 to directly engage stakeholders. main fishermen’s associations in the decision of the closing date of this year. in line with scientific recommendations is commendable “.
As recommended in the STWG 2020 report, season closure should be implemented in combination with effective enforcement of existing laws, including, but not limited to, mesh size control and enforcement. strict light, dynamite and chemicals law for current and future closings. be biologically beneficial.
Implementing partners are Hen Mpoano, Friends of the Nation, Foundation for Environmental Justice, Trygg Mat Tracking and Fisheries Committee for the west-central Gulf of Guinea.
The government announced in June 2021 that the semi-industrial fleet was to cease all activity at sea from July 1 to July 31, 2021, while that of industrial trawlers would take effect from July 1 to August 31, 2021.
Mr Donkris Mevuta, executive director of Friends of the Nation, speaking to media in Accra said the closure of the season should be supported by other management measures such as controlling overcapacity, limiting the number vessels at sea to sustainable levels and the cessation of all forms of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The season closure policy under Section 84 of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625), aims to reduce effort and overexploitation and rebuilding of fish stocks in Ghanaian marine waters.
This measure is a major step towards rebuilding the marine fish stock that supports more than 2.7 million Ghanaians.
Mr Mevuta said that the rebuilding of the depleted navy could not be achieved if “saiko” fishing continued unchecked, stressing that illegality as well as other forms of IUU fishing were compromising the environment necessary for fishing. juvenile growth.
Reports have shown that in 2017, the saiko trade removed approximately 100,000 tonnes of fish from the sea, worth over US $ 50 million when they were sold at the landing site. These fish were mostly juveniles.
Reports from civil society organizations and universities have shown that juvenile fish made up over 90 percent of saiko landings.
He urged the Ministry and the Fisheries Commission to ensure that industrial trawlers land all their catches at the two designated ports at Tema and Takoradi to allow inspection of their catches.
“We would like to congratulate the Commission on its work in successfully undertaking an audit of trawler gear. As the report reveals, industrial vessels have modified their gear to improve their efficiency in landing small pelagics,” he said. declared.
Mr. Mevuta urged the government to use the closed season period to review the observer program to ensure that observers are trained and equipped with the requisite knowledge and provided with the necessary logistics to monitor safely, accurately document and report the activities of fishing vessels at sea.
“Improving regulations and surveillance, and improving transparency in fisheries management are the best weapons Ghana can use to stem the illegal fishing which is driving its fish stocks to extinction,” he said. he declared.
He encouraged neighboring countries working under the Regional Fisheries Committee for the West-Central Gulf of Guinea to support the announcement of the closure of the 2021 season in Ghana with actions taken at the national level.
Nene Divine Obubuafo, public relations manager of the National Canoe Fishermen’s Council of Ghana, urged fishermen to comply with government guidelines on season closure to have a bumper harvest of their catch.
Mr. Socrates Apertorgbor Segbor, Director of Fisheries, Environmental Justice Foundation, hoped the impact of the season closure would be felt between four and five years.
Mr. Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah, the program director, advised the fishermen to save their money and have other diversified livelihoods to pay for them during the closed season.