Fishermen in the fishing town of Axim, the Western Region, have welcomed this year’s fishing closed season and have promised to comply with the directive.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission announced the 2023 closed season starting from July 1, to August 31, 2023.
The closed season policy is intended to reduce over-exploitation and to ensure fish stock replenishment in Ghana’s marine waters.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE in an interview, Francis Kwofie Jnr., Secretary to the canoe owners in Axim said they were complying with the directive adding that awareness creation on the closed season had gone on successfully and that all the fishermen were aware.
“Closed season is a period to revamp the marine fish stock, and this initiative is laudable and currently embraced by all fishermen,” he pointed out.
He, however, noted that the closed season might not be the only solution to restore depleted fish stock.
“We also suggesting that the activities of foreign vessels on the high seas should be checked,” he said.
He lamented how the activities of the trawlers also called ‘Saiko’ and the use of unorthodox fishing methods were adversely affecting their business and urged the Fisheries Ministry to intensify efforts to halt such activities.
Mr. Kwofie Jnr. stated that replenishing the depleted marine could not be achieved if illegal fishing methods by some recalcitrant fishermen continued to be unchecked.
He also asked for an alternative support system to mitigate the likely impact of the fishing closed season on their livelihoods.
“There should be more support from government to the fishermen to keep them economically sound or to provide them with alternative income sources,” he said.
He said the fishermen in the area are still complaining about shortage of premix fuel on the market.
“Most of my people are lamenting that they have not been getting premix for some months and have decided to do some construction work and other menial jobs in order to take care of their family during the closed season”, he added.