Fisherfolk in Jamestown in Accra have postponed their planned march to the Jubilee House in protest of the closed fishing season in August 2018.
According to the spokesperson for the fisher-folk, Nii Nertey Netteh, the Ghana National Council of Fishermen asked that the government be given until Friday, July 27.
“We had a meeting with the Ghana National Council of Fishermen and they pleaded with fishermen to back down on the demonstration on Monday so that they hold a press conference on Tuesday and put some things out there.”
“What they have asked us to do is to hold on with the demonstration [until] Friday because they will be asking the government to respond to the things they will say on Tuesday,” Mr. Netteh explained.
If the government response is not satisfactory, Mr. Netteh said: “then all of them [Ghana National Council of Fishermen], with the fisherfolk, would march on the street to the Flagstaff House.”
Not enough engagement
The closed season is intended to allow fish spawn to improve Ghana’s dwindling fish stocks.
Whilst the fishermen are in support of the idea, they have said fisherman have not been adequately educated.
Mr. Netteh previously said, “if it should have been done, the government should have engaged them for more than a year so that they are sensitized before it is announced.”
Call for extension
The Ghana Aquaculture Association is fully in support of the closed season, and has even called for an extension to three months.
The Association’s president, Jennifer Asodji, said the closed season was critical for Ghana in the long-term.
“It is unfortunate the livelihood of some people will be affected for some period, but if it is extended, it helps this nation, it helps Ghana, and I honestly think this news is even better than free SHS because we are replenishing our waters.
There has been a demonstration so far by fisher-folk in the Western Region, whereas in the Central Region, opinion leaders have also called for a postponement of the ban.
Fisheries Alliance predicted halt in fishing activities in 2017
In 2017, the co-convener of the Fisheries Alliance, Richster Nii Armah Armafio, said that the Fisheries Commission was working with the implementers of the Sustainable Fisheries Management Plan Project to bring a halt to all fishing activities for one month this year.
The reason given at the time was that such an act would help in the regeneration of fish stock in Ghana’s fishing waters.
“Scientists are telling us that Sadinella stocks are pregnant around August and so if you have observed when you get them, they have a lot of eggs in them. The idea is to allow August to pass so that they will lay their eggs for the juveniles to go into the wild. The adults will then be available for capture.”
“You need every fish to spawn at least once to keep the cycle going. If we want to restock our fisheries, we need not disturb the spawning process.”