Osei-Boateng ACCRA (Xinhua) -- The Ghanaian
government’s decision to institute a month-long ban on fishing
has angered some fisher folks in Ghana’s coastal cities of
Elmina, Moree and Cape Coast.
The closed season announced by
Minister for Fisheries Elizabeth Afoley Quaye last Friday forms
part of the government’s new measures to reverse an alarming
decline in marine fish stock in the country’s territorial
According to the minister, the closed
season for marine fishing, which will be observed yearly, will
permit for uninterrupted breeding to increase the fish stock for
A person who engages in fishing during
the closed season commits an offense and is liable on summary
conviction to a fine of not less than 500,000 U.S. dollars and
not more than 2 million dollars in respect of local industrial
or semi-industrial vessels.
Fishing will, however, resume in
Even though some fishermen in Ghana
have welcomed the declaration, others, especially in the
southeastern part of the country, are livid, saying the move
would impoverish them.
The locals said the ministry’s action
would worsen their already difficult financial situation,
calling on the government not to enforce the decision.
“The month of August is the bumper
season and they see it as wrong for the government to place a
ban on fishing activities during the period,” Francis Eshun,
leader of the local Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association, told
local media in Accra.
Agya Badu, a fisherman, said no local
fisherman would gladly accept notice that they should not work
during the period.
“We are not kicking against the closed
season but the session is what we are not agreeing to. We are
appealing to the government to change the implementation
period,” Badu told Joy Fm, a local radio station in Accra.
The acting president of the National
Canoe Fishermen Council, Nana Joojo Solomon, appealed to the
government to put mitigation arrangements in place to support
the affected people.
“For us, it is not business; it is a
source of livelihoods,” he said.
Afoley Quaye, the fisheries minister,
had earlier said lots of pregnant fishes were caught during this
season, thus reducing the spawning potential for the following
year and contributing to the rapid decline in the ocean fish
“When we do so, we are eating our
chicks before they are born,” the minister said. “This is what
we have been doing to our small pelagic fish stock over the
years, using many illegal forms of fishing.”