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Hawa Koomson warns against illegal fishing as closed season begins

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The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hawa Koomson, has warned fishermen against illegal fishing as the annual fishing closed season has begun in Ghana.

Speaking at a ceremony in Dixcove, Western Region, to mark the start of the closed season, Hawa Koomson cautioned that those caught flouting the ban would face severe punishment.

The closed season, which aims to replenish Ghana’s marine fisheries resources, has become an annual norm in the fishing industry.

WhatsApp Image 2024 07 01 at 6.56.57 PM Channel1 News Hawa Koomson warns against illegal fishing as closed season begins

The season is expected to last for a month, and the government has assured of its commitment to enforcing the ban to ensure the sustainability of Ghana’s fisheries resources.

“It has come to my notice that some fisherfolks are planning to land their fish at the Togo border during the Closed season, therefore, kindly be warned that they will be apprehended and charged if they go on with their intention. More so, there shall be no more use of monofilament nets and any unauthorized fishing gear after the opening of the season. “

WhatsApp Image 2024 07 01 at 6.53.16 PM 1 Channel1 News Hawa Koomson warns against illegal fishing as closed season begins

However, some fishermen at Dixcove expressed concerns about the government’s failure to provide adequate support and premix fuel before the closed season, leaving them without sufficient revenue to feed their families during the ban.

One stated, “They should have brought us adequate premix before the ban on fishing so we work to make some savings before the closed season so that nobody cries of hunger, but that didn’t happen. The closed fishing season going to make our feeding very difficult, and the government should put in place something to make life bearable for us before because.”

WhatsApp Image 2024 07 01 at 6.54.31 PM Channel1 News Hawa Koomson warns against illegal fishing as closed season begins

“The one bag of rice they are bringing would not be enough for a family of four or more without money. How are we going to cope with this? So the government should rather put in place proper financial support for each fisherman because the fishing industry is the major source of livelihood in their Ahanta Area.“

The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, highlighted the significance of Dixcove, which contributes over 90% of Ghana’s Tuna output, making it an ideal location for the national closed season ceremony.

The President of the Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association, Stephen Adjo Katcher, welcomed the ban but expressed concerns about the high cost of spare parts for fishing gear and fuel.

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