Sekondi Fishermen Protest Ban On Fishing

Some of the aggrieved fishermen and fishmongers

Some members of the Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association at the Bosomtwi-Sam Fishing Habour in Sekondi staged a protest yesterday against government’s decision to ban fishing activities next month.

Government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Fisheries Commission, has announced that there would be a ban on all fishing activities in August 2018.

The move, according to the Ministry, is to ensure that pregnant fish are able to give birth and feed properly on the chlorophos that would be supplied during the season.

The exercise, dubbed, ‘Close Season,’ is expected to begin from 1-31 August, 2018.

Fishing would, however, resume in September.

However, some fishermen and fish mongers operating at the fishing harbour in Sekondi have called on government not to go ahead with the decision to place a ban on fishing activities.

“The month of August is the bumper season and it’s wrong for the government to ban fishing activities during the period, they asserted.
Some claimed they had never witnessed a ban on fishing activities since they started fishing in the sea many years ago.

They also indicated that they would not be able to pay back loans they contracted and take care of their families if the government bans fishing during the period.

They disclosed that the implementation of the decision would adversely affect them and their families.

“We have been doing this work for many years and this is how we are able to cater for everyone in family. What does the government expect us to do when the ban is imposed?” they quizzed.

Speaking to journalists, Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Francis Ato Cudjoe, explained that the degree of depletion of the coastal belt required some drastic action to be taken.

“We are placing a ban on fishing. We have gotten to a critical point that we have decided that we are going to close the sea to all forms of fishing activities in the month of August 2018,” he noted.

According to the minister, a committee with representatives from fisheries sector eventually recommended that August, the peak fishing season, is the best time for the Close Season to be successful.

“The fish come out to eat and as they eat, they carry a lot of eggs and in August they lay the eggs and they become fingerlings in the season,” Mr Cudjoe explained.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Sekondi