THE MINISTRY of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission, in consultation with key stakeholders, have postponed the 2020 fishing closed season.
The postponement of the season follows the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.
Closed season for artisanal and inshore fleets was scheduled to commence from May to June.
The closed season policy is in accordance with sections 76(3) and 84 of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625) with the objective to reduce the pressure and over-exploitation of fish stocks in Ghana's marine waters.
This measure is a major step towards replenishing the depleted marine fish stock, and it is also key to the Fisheries Management Plan of Ghana.
The closed season will allow fish to reproduce and create an enabling environment for the juvenile fishes to grow and safeguard the fish reproduction process and allow fish to spawn and multiply.
Elizabeth Afoley-Quaye, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, speaking at the handover of some 1,300 outboard motors from the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) to government on Friday, said “closed season for 2020 has been called off because we started the engagement but unfortunately our first meeting with the executives of the Fishers Association Covid-19 surfaced and the restrictions were instituted and we could not meet with them for further engagement.”
She further explained that there were plans to negotiate for closed season for the industrial sector but was abrogated because some of their crew members were suspected to have been infected with Covid-19.
“Precaution against the transmission of Covid-19 forced the industrial sector to stay away from going to sea for about two months so we agreed with them as well to shift the closed season to 2020,” she added.
From Vincent Kubi, Tema