Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Moses AnimHe said his ministry would collaborate with the Ghana Navy and Marine Police unit to intensify monitoring and surveillance of the country’s waters. He added that the ministerial directive on trawl vessels will continue to curb the harvesting of juvenile fish and address excessive bi-catch and dumping. “The Ministry with the support of the Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity is piloting an Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) in trawl vessels to track operations of vessels at sea as part of efforts to combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities. It is refreshing to note that, fishers have agreed to the implementation of the three (3)-year moratorium on new canoe entrants as a tool to reduce fishing effort and excessive pressure on marine resources“, he indicated. He lauded the compliance of this year’s closed-season directive across the 187 fishing communities in the country, and assured of periodic supply of premix fuel to the fishing communities. The Ghana Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development, Ms. Kimberly Rosen, acknowledged the difficulty fisher folks go through during the closed season, and indicated that it is a “shared annual sacrifice” which is “paying off”.
Ghana Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development, Ms. Kimberly Rosen“This year’s closed season marks Ghana’s fourth closed season, a significant achievement. The biological assessment conducted after the 2022 closed season found that both the number of fish being caught, and the average size of these fishes increased the month after the closed season. These findings confirm that the closed season is improving fish stocks. USAID has accompanied Ghana on this journey since 2019 when the first closed season was observed”, she said. The closed season spans between July 1 and 31 for canoe and inshore fishers, while that of industrial trawlers starts from July 1 to August 31, every year. It was introduced 4 years ago as a key fisheries management measure as part of USAID’s Feed the Future Ghana Recovery Project to protect young and pregnant fishes in the country’s marine environment.