The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has announced the 2023 fishing closed season will start on July 1, 2023.
According to her, canoe and inshore fishermen are to observe the closed season for a month, from July 1, 2023, to July 31, 2023.
Industrial trawlers are, however, expected to observe the closed season for two months, from July 1, 2023, to August 31, 2023.
Hawa Koomson, who made these remarks at a stakeholder engagement to access the 2022 fishing closed season, in Accra, on Friday, April 13, 2023, said that the government is putting measures in place to ensure that no fishing is done during the 2023 closed season.
She explained that the closed season is needed to help ensure that there is no depletion or decline of fish stocks in the nation’s water bodies.
“The fishery resources have been the economic backbone of the many fishing communities in this country for centuries, especially artisanal fishers and fish processors. It is therefore important that we manage our fisheries sustainably to promote the wellbeing of these communities.
“The implementation of the Closed Season, is part of the series of strategies to recover fish stock and ensure sustainable management of the fisheries resources. We have all come to accept that, there is the need to continue the Closed Season within the same period of July and August as implemented in 2021 and 2022 since it is the period of the upwelling. Upwelling is the best period for spawning,” she said.
The minister added that the government was engaging Ghana’s neighbours to entreat them to part take in the closed season.
The Report on the 2022 Closed Season, which was presented by Emmanuel Dovlo, Director Fisheries Scientific Survey Division of the Fisheries Commission, showed that there was an improvement in the stock of fish in the country after the season.
Emmanuel Dovlo said that the closure generally improved food income and balanced diet within the fishing households.
He also indicated that small pelagic species, round sardinella and anchovy landed within Ghana’s territorial waters during the 2022 closed season.
“The closed season in July ensured that the species spawned, majority of fish harvested in August and September were matured and less were immature, allowing the immature to be recruited into the fisheries in the succeeding spawning seasons,” he added.