The Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council has called on government to immediately begin consultation with artisanal fishers before the selection of the specific months for the proposed 2020 closed season.
Addressing a press conference in Accra, the Council with support from the Far Ban Bo (FBB) Project, funded by the European Union, noted the closed season should be implemented for all fleets at the same time rather than at different times.
It also called for the implementation within biologically scientific period – the pawning period from July to September.
The group noted this is the only time the closed season can have maximum impact as per scientific data available.
The statement read by Executive Member of GNCFC Nana Joojo Solomon again called on government to immediately enforce the fisheries laws to halt the wide spread illegal fishing and stop the Illegal Transshipment (SAIKO) with immediate effect.
It argued it will be too late to implement it in the 2020 Budget Statement as proposed by government, adding fish stocks may collapse by then.
GNCFC commended the Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association (GITA) for the bold action to denounce SAIKO and register their support for enforcement of the laws against SAIKO.
“We are also in support of this action and we call on government to seize this opportunity to stop the SAIKO menace now.”
In Ghana, fisheries contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the nation, it provides livelihood for about 10% of Ghanaians, contributes to foreign exchange earnings and employment. Fish also has far-reaching implications for food security in Ghana because of its nutritional value.
However, scientific evidence has repeatedly pointed to the fact that Ghana’s fisheries are in crisis.
The marine fisheries have been overfished because of widespread illegal fishing and the weak enforcement and low compliance of the fisheries laws