Fishermen React As Ghana Ban On Fishing Starts On August 7 | Fine Is $2m
The Government of Ghana has placed a one-month ban on all fishing activities across the country’s coasts, stating that the wholesale ban takes effect in August 2018.
Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, who confirmed this at a press conference in Accra, on Friday, stated that the ban takes effect from August 7 to September 4, this year.
Fisheries Commission declares ban on fishing for one month.#TV3NewDay
— #TV3GH (@tv3_ghana) July 16, 2018
The Minister said although August had been touted as the bumper season, the same period has been described as the perfect high food production for fish to eat.
“The fish consume food rapidly, grow quickly and spawn. The maximum spawning potential is often in August every year.”
Pulse Ghana also quoted Quaye as warning that fishermen who are caught at sea during the closed season will be handed hefty fines.
According to her, government will ensure strict compliance with the one-month ban, adding that defaulters will be fined between $500,000 and $2 million.
She said in addition to the fine, the equipment of the offenders will also be confiscated by government.
“A person who engages in fishing during a closed season declared, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $2 million in respect of a local industrial or semi industrial vessel or 100 penalty units and not more than 500 penalty units in any other case and in addition, any catch, fishing gear or vessel or any combination of them used in the commission of the offence maybe forfeited to the state,” Mrs. Afoley Quaye explained.
The directive, which was was first issued last month, from the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD), is expected to affect all industrial trawlers in the country.
It is understood that the objectives of the implementation of ban are in keeping with Ghana’s Fisheries Management Plan and to help in reducing the excessive pressure and over exploitation of fish stocks.
To ensure adherence to the directive, the Control and Surveillance at the Fisheries Commission, Navy, Marine Police and the Fisheries Enforcement Unit will conduct regular patrols on Ghana’s waters.
However, some members of the Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association at the Bosomtwi-Sam Fishing Habour in Sekondi staged a protest during the weekend against government’s decision to ban fishing activities next month.
The country’s fishing communities say they strongly oppose the government’s decision to impose a one-month ban on all 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.
Modern Ghana quoted some as saying that they had never witnessed a ban on fishing activities since they started fishing in the sea many years ago.