The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye has declared the 2018 industrial fishing season opened.
This follows a two-month closed season which commenced in January 2018 with the aim of reducing the excessive pressure and overexploitation of Ghana’s fish stocks.
Mrs. Afoley Quaye together with other high ranking officials of the ministry, managers of the Tema fishing harbor and players in the fishing industry took a vessel inspection tour at the Tema Harbour to commemorate the end of the season.
Addressing the media, the Minister congratulated the industrial trawlers for observing and complying with the directives on the ‘closed season.’
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the industrial trawlers for observing the closed season. I wish to extend the gratitude of his Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo the president to you. He appreciates your acceptance to observe the closed season. He knows that this is going to help to replenish our dwindling fish stock,” she stated.
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Mrs. Afoley Quaye, after inspecting some of the trawler vessels, intimated that she had been impressed by the significant improvements in the condition of the vessels as to previous times.
She stated that the Fishing Enforcement Unit Task Force had done a good job to ensure that the trawlers were properly maintained, painted and washrooms cleaned.
The ‘Closed Season’ was enacted in accordance with sections 76(3) and 84 of the Fisheries Act, 2002(Act 625), by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission.
The objectives of the implementation of the closed season, which are in accordance with Ghana’s Fisheries Management Plan (Marine Fisheries Sector, 2015-2019), was to help in reducing the excessive pressure and over exploitation of fish stocks.
Owners, operators and masters of industrial trawlers were directed to comply with the declared closed seasons.
Violation of the directive would have attracted fines ranging from US$ 500,000 to US$ 2 million as well as forfeiture of the catch, fishing gear or vessel to the state.
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