Fishermen in Aboadze-Abuesi, twin fishing communities in the Shama District of the Western Region are complying with the closed fishing season directives by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in collaboration with Fisheries Commission for inshore and artisanal fishers.
The closed fishing season is intended to reduce over exploitation and to ensure fish stock replenishment in Ghana’s marine waters.
The fishermen were seen using the opportunity to mend their nets, service and pack their outboard motors in a safe place and repair their canoes to put them in good shape when the GNA visited the shore of the two communities.
They expressed divergent views, as some believed that the period of the closed season would be difficult for them to endure, others maintained that it would help replenish the depleted fish stock.
They acknowledged that the closed season was a necessary step towards rebuilding the marine fish stock, deal with the issues of post-harvest losses and ensure a better way of processing and packaging fish for the market.
However, they demanded that stringent measures were put in place by the government to deal with the illegal activities of pair trawlers, known as “Saiko” to deter them from engaging in the practice.
In an interview with GNA, a member of the Interim Fishing Committee of Aboadze, Mr Kojo Akyer contended that there was the need to put in place an alternative livelihood programme that would help sustain their livelihood within the closed season period.
He complained that there was not enough publicity about the definite time for the closed season and that they could not adequately prepare for it.
Mr Akyer expressed worry about the activities of pair trawlers, foreign vessels and IUU fishing practices which were fast destroying the fishing and he queried why proactive measures were not sanctioned to halt such illegalities to save the marine waters from further depletion.
He maintained that they would conduct themselves within the dictates of the directives to ensure its success but implored the government to appreciate the importance of streamlining efforts that would effectively curtail the illegal activities of pair trawlers and foreign vessels as well as IUU fishing practices after the closed season.
This, he explained would help the attempt of ensuring that the depleted fish stock was restored to benefit the people in the country.