Winneba (C/R), May 15, GNA - Chief Fishermen in the various fishing communities along the coastal belt in the country have agreed in principle to deal severely with fishermen who flout the closed season laws, which comes into effect on Wednesday, May 15, to serve as a deterrent.
The Chief Fishermen made this known at a forum with officials of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission at Winneba, after which a symbolic ceremony was held at the beach to officially close the sea with a padlock.
The meeting was to finally interact with them and other stakeholders in the fishing industry before the closure from today, Wednesday May 15 to Saturday, June 15, 2019.
The Chief fishermen made it clear to the fishermen operating in the communities, that the closure of the season was for their own welfare and the nation at large, and that, they should abide by the laid down laws to ensure a boost in the industry.
Addressing the forum, Mr. Ato Cudjoe Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture recalled reasons which necessitated the implementation of the closure law, explaining that, it was to ensure proper, effective and sustainable management of the Sea products to provide continuous bumper fish catch in the Country.
He emphasized that the fishing business will soon become economically viable to enable players in the industry to actively participate in the development agenda of their communities and the nation at large.
He repeated Government’s warning to fishermen to refrain from using unauthorized fishing materials, such as prohibited fishing nets, the use of poisonous chemicals and lights for their fishing expeditions.
The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Mr. Thomas Adjei Baffoe, also stressed the need for all fishermen in the country to support government by strictly adhering to the directives for all Ghanaians to achieve the maximum benefits of the closure.
Nana Kojo Conduah VI, Paramount Chief of Elmina traditional area, added his voice to the call on fishermen along the coastal belt to abide by the laws governing the fishing business and advised leaders and members from the various fishing communities to communicate “the good news” to their colleagues.
He urged them not to allow greedy people to play on their intelligence concerning the closure, which was in their own interest.
Mrs. Afoley Quaye, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, who officially performed the ceremony advised fishermen to observe the one month long closure because they will never regret it.
The Minister assured the fishermen that they would soon reap the benefits of the closure to the joy of all.
Neenyi Ghartey VII, Paramount Chief of Effutu Traditional Area, who chaired the programme expressed his appreciation to the Chief Fishermen and the entire fishing communities for their cooperation.
Neenyi Ghartey warned fishermen in the Area who may dare to flout the order not to approach the traditional authorities to plead on their behalf when caught.
He thanked the government for plans to start the construction of safe landing beaches for some selected communities along the coastal belt and hoped the project will be implemented soon.