The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) through a statement issued on Friday May 3, 2019.
have reinterates its unwavering commitment to seeing through the observance of the closed fishing seasons.
The seasons, which according to the ministry, come in two different periods, span one month, beginning from May 15 to June 15, 2019 and 1st August to 30th September, 2019 respectively.
In 2018, the sector Ministry scheduled to implement this novelty in the fishing industry, however, the Ministry differed it to allow for broader room for expansive and critical stakeholder consultations. And the outcome is primed to see out a successful implementation of the 2019 closed season.
Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, made significant efforts to ensure that the input of key stakeholders was taken into account in the lead up to this year’s closed seasons.
“This year, we want it to be a demand-driven activity, so we asked the fishermen themselves to give us the date that makes them comfortable. While taking note of the scientific evidence provided to the sector Ministry by the researchers, regard was also given to the socio-economic implications of the implementation of this great concept by the fishermen.
“In our consultations, we came to a conclusion that the fishermen themselves gave us the dates within which they believed observing the closed seasons would not inconvenience them. So, they gave us the 15th of May to the 15th of June for the inshore and artisanal fishermen.
“The industrial trawlers also agreed to observe their closed season from the 1st of August to 30th of September.”
While global fishing best practices acknowledge closed fishing seasons as an effective mechanism for curbing over-fishing and many allied ills in the industry, the Ministry concedes that any new phenomenon or practice may be inconveniencing at the onset. The Ministry therefore, entreat key stakeholders to cooperate to ensure that Ghana savours the monumental benefits that come with a thoroughly observed fishing closed season.
In response to calls from certain quarters to rather move the closed season to July, 2019, the Ministry have reiterate that the stipulated date was a collective choice of a greater percentage of stakeholders who also shared the notion that the selected dates would not affect traditional festivities earmarked around that period.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development affirmed that, together with its key stakeholders, is poised to deliver government’s expectation of a robust and thriving fisheries sector.