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AN issue that has caught our attention and which of course cannot go without commenting is government’s one-month ban on all fishing activities along the country’s costs. The ban, it is understood takes effect August 2018.
THIS was a directive from the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD). Equally to be affected by the ban will be industrial trawlers in the country.
THE object of the ban, according to MoFAD, is to help keep with Ghana’s Fisheries Management Plan and to help in reducing the extreme pressure and over exploitation of fish stocks.
THUS, it is in line with the above that the government has charged the Control and Surveillance at the Fisheries Commission, Navy, Marine Police and the Fisheries Enforcement Unit to conduct regular patrols on Ghana’s waters when the ban takes effect. This literally is to enforce compliance.
THE decision was arrived at by government following concerns by fishermen regarding declining fish catches after staying long hours on the sea. Sadly, the famous August bumper catches of fish are no more happening!
THE situation of depleting fish catches has been attributed to improper fishing methods and nets, which do not spare fingerlings. Also the introduction of bigger vessels that haul in loads of fishes at a time is also a major factor.
IN the wake of the ban, the Omanhene of Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Conduah IV, has made a passionate appeal to the MoFAD to immediately reconsider its decision. The chief of Edina expressed concerns of what Today believes represent the position fisherfolks in the country—that fishermen would indeed bear the harsh brunt of this ban!
ACCORDING to Nana Conduah IV, the ban was in breach of an earlier agreement the ministry struck with the fishermen to ban fishing from May to June, which had long been complied with, by the fishermen. There is no gainsaying the fact that fishermen will be hard hit by this ban.
THE question Today is asking is how would our fishermen and fish mongers survive during the one-month ban? We have heard that MoFAD will soon issue a statement to address concerns of fishermen who would be affected by the ban.
BUT we on this paper would have preferred that the ministry actively engaged them before even going public with the ban. That would have allowed space for their concerns to be addressed.
IN the view of Today government should reconsider its position, especially when many of our fishermen will suffer the consequences of the ban. And further more we want to suggest to government to look at an alternative means of addressing this whole problem.