One month closed season too harsh, fishermen cry out

A fisherman at the Landing Beach in Elmina of the Central Region has descended on the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley-Quaye describing her as ignorant of the affairs of fishermen and their business.

This followed the ministry’s announcement of a closed season on Friday the 13th of July 2018.

This is part of measures to ensure stock recovery to curtail the depletion of Ghana’s fish stock.

The ban starts from 7 August to 4 September 2018 and will affect all fleet.

The ban affects all fishing except for Tuna.

According to the ministry, fishermen caught fishing during the one-month closed season would be fined between $500,000 to $2 million.

The fisherman, Kwabena Badu, added that the minister makes decisions without considering the effects they may have on fishermen.

She said: “It is needful that people are sanctioned when they don’t comply with the law but that is not the interest of government, our duty is to make people comply voluntarily to the closed season.”

“A person who engages in fishing during a closed season declared, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $2million in respect of a local industrial or semi-industrial vessel; or 100 penalty units and not more than 500 penalty units in any other case and in addition, any catch, fishing gear or vessel or any combination of them used in the commission of the offence, maybe forfeited to the state.”

But speaking on Accra FM on Wednesday, Mr Badu said: “This ban is too harsh, and, so, we will defy the order and go ahead with the fishing business.

“The minister doesn’t know what she is doing, she doesn’t know what goes into the fishing business, and, so, she takes decisions that are not in the interest of the people.

“How can we survive for one month without working, can the minister survive one month without working?”


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