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Fishing: Minority demands immediate suspension of closed season

The Minority in Parliament is calling on government not to think of implementing its “insensitive” ban on fishing beginning Tuesday, August 7.

Government has announced a closed season to fishing between Tuesday, August 7 and Tuesday, September 4 in a move to, among others, replenish fishing stock in Ghana’s waters.

This has not gone down well with some fisher folk though the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has said the decision was wholly agreed to after a wide stakeholder consultation.

But addressing journalists in Accra, Ranking Member on the Food And Agriculture Committee of Parliament Eric Opoku said the decision was not thought through properly by government.

According to the Member of Parliament for Asunafo South Constituency, even the announcement was not done by the Fisheries Commission, which is authorised by law to do so.

He said the ban will rather visit untold hardship on fisher folk especially at a time they will be planning to pay school fees in September.

“The moratorium is unfair for the fisheries sector,” he insisted.

The impending closed season will see no fishing activity.

According to the Ministry, a two-month closed season for trawlers in February-March this year resulted in a marginal improvement.

Then, the fisher folk were told an extension will be rolled out in August.

Already, a VLA system is said to have been set up to monitor activities on-shore during the period.

READ: ‘CCTVs’ on Ghana waters to monitor & arrest fishers during closed season

But the Minority claims government should rather invest in a research vessel “to conduct regular surveys as promised during the welcoming of the Dr Fridtjof Nansen vessel in 2017”.

The Norwegian vessel, which visited Ghana’s shores in 2017, is said to have recommended a closed season for the country.

Mr Opoku said scientific brains of Ghana’s should be assembled to point out times and coastal areas where the ban on fishing can be imposed.

He cited how Senegal does its closed season by stopping fishing in some areas and not on its entire coast.

“There is no guarantee that the fish will remain in our waters after August,” he noted.

He stressed that the previous closed seasons declared yielded little results.

“Of all these closures, we are yet to have reports of its impact.”

He therefore asked government to immediately suspend the move so as not to deny over 195,000 people their livelihood.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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