The co-convener of the Fisheries Alliance, Richster Nii Armah Amarfio has said the Fisheries Commission is working with the implementers of the Sustainable Fisheries Management Plan Project funded by the USAID, to bring all fishing activities in the country to a close for one month next year.
This according to him is part of activities to regenerate the dwindling fish stock in Ghana’s fishing waters.
Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of a two day Fisheries Alliance program, Mr. Amarfio says the decision though will come at a cost will go a long way to revive the low fish catch that fishermen have had to grapple with.
He noted that “scientists are telling us that Sadinella stocks are pregnant around August and so if you have observed, when you get them, they have a lot of eggs in them. The idea is to allow August to pass so that they will lay their eggs for the juveniles to go into the wild. The adult will then be available for capture”.
He continued that “you need every fish to spawn at least once to keep the cycle going. If we want to restock our fisheries, we need not to disturb the spawning process”.
August is predominantly the period fishermen have bumper catch.
It is the season they hope to recoup capital investment. It is the same time many women along the fish value chain make returns and to settle debt.
A ban on fishing this time could mean a threat to livelihoods of the fishermen.
However, Mr. Amarfio noted that fishermen, whilst waiting for the stock to rejuvenate in the one month duration can be employed to clean their landing beaches and paid them from subsidies from premix fuel.
“So that whilst they are waiting, they can be paid to clean their shores for the September catch and also take responsibility of the sanitary situation at their beaches. It will help them to stay in business somehow. This is what is done in the Philippines to sustain their fish stock”.
By: Obrempong Yaw Ampofo/citifmonline.com/Ghana