Mahama to exempt canoe and artisanal fishers from  'closed season'  ban [VIDEO]
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Mahama to exempt canoe and artisanal fishers from 'closed season' ban [VIDEO]

The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress, (NDC) John Dramani Mahama has indicated that when elected as President, his government would exempt canoe and artisanal fishermen from the closed season programme. 

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The closed season is implemented annually for artisanal and inshore fleets. 

It is a fisheries management procedure designed to protect fish stocks and increase their population.

The policy is aimed at curbing overfishing, restore over exploited fish stocks, replenish dwindling fish populations and allow fish to lay their eggs to replace lost population.

Former President Mahama addressing fishermen in Tema on Saturday said the activities of  the canoe and artisanal fishermen groups of fishers did not contribute to dwindling fish stock in Ghana.

Interacting with the members of the fishing community selected across the coastal communities on Saturday, June 8, 2024 in Tema, Mr. Mahama said the closed season will be for only trawlers and other huge vessels. 

He said his administration would re-organise the Landing Beach Committees (LBCs) to empower the fishermen to address the current irregularities and disparity in the distribution of premix fuel and other fishing gears including nets and outboard motors at the landing beaches.

He said the reconstituted LBCs would be made up of representatives of the various stakeholders in the fishing industry and not persons affiliated to political parties and intermediary people who resell the subsidised premix fuel and outboard motors at higher prices to fishermen. “We must eschew politics from the fishing industry,” he said. 

Mr Mahama said his administration would also resource the Ghana Navy with patrol vessels to monitor trawlers and other bigger vessels within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of the sea.

Concerns 

Responding to concerns about plastics and pollution at the shores, Mr Mahama said his administration would engage young people in fishing communities along the coast to address issues of waste management along the shores that negatively impacted fisheries and destroy the health of the ocean.

The Chairman of the Canoe and Fishing Gear Owners Association of Ghana, Nana Kweigya, implored the government to try other innovative means of addressing the depleting fish stocks in Ghana.

He said climate change was causing fish to move from shallow waters to much deeper waters hence artisanal fishers were compelled to move far away to have access to fish. 

Nana Kweigya said it was necessary for government to consider extending the inshore EEZ for artisanal fishers to cope with competition from industrial fishers as far as access to fisheries resources were concerned. 

Writer’s email: [email protected]  

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