Fishers in Ketu South lament impact of closed fishing season 

Fisherfolk in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta region are lamenting the impact of this year’s closed fishing season. 

The fisherfolk, most of whom have been temporarily rendered jobless, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a visit to some landing beaches in the Municipality that they were beginning to feel the pinch of the month-long fishing season with financial constraints and other issues just a week into the closed season. 

Some of the fishers have abandoned the shores in search of alternative livelihoods, with others mostly canoe and net owners, mending their nets while eagerly anticipating the end of the closed season, the GNA observed. 

Mr Francis Bedzo, a former Assemblyman for Denu Electoral Area, and owner of a fishing company, which operated at the Denu landing beach, told the GNA that the closed season was taking a toll on the livelihoods of the fisherfolk, especially those with no alternative means of income. 

“Fishing is the only job I do now after leaving office as Assemblyman – like my other colleagues who have no other means of income, the closed season is really taking a toll on our daily lives – some of us have started borrowing money just to make ends meet and to take care of our families,” Bedzo lamented. 

He said due to the financial constraints, some of “our workers have started leaving for other fishing groups in Lome and Cotonou to avoid the impact of the closed season.” 

Mr Narbi Alordo, Chief Fisherman for Denu, landing beach also lamented the impact of the closed season to the GNA. 

He said although the annual closed season was meant to replenish the fish stock in the sea, the financial hardships that come along with it was adversely affecting the daily Iives of the fisherfolk and their families. 

He appealed to government to assist the fishers with some food items and small funds to keep them going as they observe the closed season. 

Madam Dzifa Dorkenoo, a fishmonger and leader of ‘Mina miawor deka” fishmongers association, said: “We are really feeling the impact of the closed season – you know we mainly rely on the fishermen for our trading. The closed season is not a bad thing, but government should make some provisions to cushion us during the season – we are mothers with children to take care of and so, if the government can assist us with some food items, I think it will help us a lot,” she said. 

In Ghana, the observance of the closed season is in accordance with Section 84 of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625). 

This year’s fishing closed season is the seventh edition since the initial implementation in 2015.  

While canoe and inshore fishers would observe the closed season between July 1 and 31, industrial trawlers would observe it from July 1 to August 31. 

Closed season, also known as biological rest period or no-harvesting period, is the halting of fishing activities during the spawning period of fish stocks when the fishes are most productive. 

It also allows the fish a chance to lay their eggs towards the replacement of the lost population due to fishing and other natural causes. 

Closed seasons are observed globally as a way of reducing fishing pressure on stocks and are considered one of the key fisheries management measures to help protect fish stock and increase their population. 

Source: GNA 

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