Seasonal closure for fishing in Ghana to begin in 2016

FishermenGhana would from next year introduce the seasonal closure for fishing as a measure to replenish the country’s fish stock.

Madam Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, announced this on Friday during the launching of Greater Accra Regional Fish Festival in Tema.

Seasonal closure is a period when a ban is placed on fishing activities in respect to a type of fish, area and zones, method of capture or any parameters specified in notice of closure.

Madam Ayittey stated that there would be two to three months closure for industrial fishing vessels and trolleys starting from 2016 while canoe and artisan fishers would add additional one day closure to their activities.

She indicated that the vessels and trolleys would use the period to do repair works while the canoe fishermen would be allowed to fish using the acceptable practices.

She said a number of consultations and stakeholder engagements have been carried out on the need to implement the seasonal closure.

During one of such stakeholders engagements in Tema in July, it was reported that the total landings of small pelagic (anchovies, sardinellas, mackerels and horse mackerel) have decreased from 277,000 metric tons in 1996 to about 92,000 metric tons in 2011.

The Sector Minister expressed her outfit’s contentment on the lifting of the ban on the exportation of fish products from Ghana to the European Union.

She said the country lost about $15 million during the three years ban as it is estimated that Ghana gains about $5 million revenue for the exportation of fish and fish products to the EU market.

Madam Ayittey cautioned fishermen to adopt the best practices in fishing to enable processed fish products from Ghana to pass the quality test.

Source: GNA

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