On Monday, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) allowed artisanal fishermen to continue fishing in the sea. The season was halted for a month as part of government efforts to replenish the fishery stocks, which are continuously declining. The ministry will be putting into effect a crucial fisheries management action for the third time in 2022 during the fishing closed season.
At Otuam in the Central Region, Sector Minister Mavis Hawa Koomson ceremonially unlocked the sea with a key. The minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson, stated that the road to implementing the 2022 closed season was not as straightforward as they had anticipated due to the difficulties in the provision of premix fuel before the season was symbolically opened for artisanal fishermen to go fishing after a month of closed season. However, she claimed that the ministry would support the traditional authorities in observing the 2022 closed season due to the resolve and foresight of stakeholders, particularly the leadership and members of artisanal and inshore fishermen.
The minister pleaded with all fishermen in his remarks to Ekumfi Otuam Landing Beach to assist the ministry in carrying out the strategy for the rehabilitation of fisheries resources, such as the closed season. Everyone has to understand that Ghana's Closed Season is a stock recovery plan that is supported by the law and is here to stay. As we examine the reports and biological studies, we will keep reviewing the strategies, she emphasized. Additionally, Mavis Hawa Koomson gave warning that she would not tolerate any violations of the fishery laws. She implied that since protecting marine resources is a shared responsibility, she would like the fishermen to join her in the ministry's mission to restore reason to the ocean environment.
The Ministry has been made aware, according to Madam Hawa Koomson, that certain fishermen have recently marked off areas of the sea as their own and set up fishing nets and fish aggregators there for their own use. She maintains that such behavior violates the law and that she will do everything in her power to deal with offenders. "I want to let everyone know that this action is against the Fisheries Act and Regulations, including all fishermen. She gave notice that she would deploy FEU personnel to make an arrest and bring charges against them. Nana Joojo Solomon, the chairman of the Ghana National Canoe Fisherman Council, announced that the group will work with the ministry and the fisheries commission to apprehend fishermen who break the law.
The closed season, along with addressing the illegal, unregulated, and unreported problems in the industrial trawl and artisanal sub-sectors, is an important step towards the recovery of Ghana's rapidly depleting fish stock while preserving the livelihood of more than 3 million Ghanaians, according to USAID Mission Director Kimberly Rosen, who praised the ministry's efforts. For the third time, the ministry will put into effect a crucial fisheries management measure in 2022. The sea has opened up, allowing the fishermen to resume their work.