Fishermen in coastal areas have expressed mixed reactions to the impending closure of the fishing season, citing a variety of reasons, most notably the nation’s current economic difficulties.
Some of them have demanded that the closed season be scrapped since it is ineffective, while others have asked that it be suspended due of the challenging economic climate.
However, some of them have stated that while the closed season is a desirable intervention, it needs to be implemented correctly.
The government should compensate fishermen in cash for the projected revenue loss during the sit-home period, according to fishermen, even though they believe that August is the best time to close the seas due to the current economic challenges.
Fishermen criticized the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development’s order to ban artisanal fishing from July 1 to August 1 this year from the Jamestown Landing Beach in Accra.
They claim that despite having expressed their willingness to follow the regulation, they were not consulted before the closed season was announced by any official from the fisheries regulatory agencies.
A fisherman told the Daily Graphic that the closed season had little effect on the fish stock and that it was a “waste of time that could have been used for something else.”
He acknowledged that their catches had significantly declined over the years, but insisted that the closed season would not in any way assist the stock grow.
From Cape Coast, The President of the Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana (CaFGOAG), Nana Kweigya who was one of the supporters who suggested August as as the appropriate period, indicated that the DGN net (ahyekon) fishers went for fishing in July and the continuous closure of the sea in July meant the collapse of that form of fishing.
He clarified that moving the closed season to August will enable the fishermen to make preparations for it.
The situation of fishers along the coast had gotten worse, according to Nana Kweigya, because a lack of premix fuel had stopped many of them from heading out to sea for the previous four months.