By Seth Danquah, GNA
Sekondi, April 14, GNA – Nana Kweku Yiadom, the Sekondi Chief Fisherman has welcomed the directive issued by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to ban fishing for a month, describing it as a step in the right direction.
He reiterated the readiness of the members of the regional fishermen association to comply with the directive and expressed the optimism that the closed fishing season for inshore and artisanal fishers, starting May 15 to June 15 would yield the needed result.
Nana Yiadom who made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sekondi, said the members were however not happy about the directive especially when they got to know that it was going to allow industrial trawlers, which are mostly owned by foreign nationals to operate.
Nana Yiadom pointed out that it should have covered all vessels, both small and large operating on the seas of Ghana spanning from Half-Assini to the boarder at Togo and called for fairness in the directive.
It would be recalled that the government, last year, came up with the directive of the closed season, but had to call off the enforcement in August, due to concerns raised by the fishermen and complaints that they were not adequately consulted.
The closed fishing season is a period, where fishermen are prohibited from fishing in the ocean to enable the fingerlings grow and ensure bumper catch upon resumption of fishing activities.
It is consistent with the Fisheries Regulations and Marine Management Plan.
This year's closed fishing season was demand-driven and voluntary and therefore the fishermen were asked to provide a suitable period that they found comfortable.
The decision was reached following extensive consultations between the Ministry, fishermen associations and other key stakeholders in the fishing industry.
Fishermen were warned against flouting the directive as they would be arrested and prosecuted.