Fishermen operating from Tema Canoe Beach are using the one-month close-season period to mend their nets and canoes as they take a break from going to sea.
On the beach, nets have been piled up while others have been spread on almost all available ground, and at the wharf, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) observed in Tema.
The visit to the beach forms part of the programme dubbed “Blue Gold: Ghana’s Economic Transformer,” a media platform initiated by the GNA, Tema Regional Office, to serve as holistic journalistic engagement with players and other stakeholders in the blue economy space.
The GNA created the platform to also deepen the discussion on the blue economy and serve as the medium for stakeholders in the space to engage the media to project things that happen within the sector.
The GNA-Tema Blue Gold: Ghana’s Economic Transformer also links investors to the blue economy value chain, explores other opportunities within the space that are yet to be discovered, and assists policymakers in understanding the challenges confronting players in the blue economy.
The team observed that the shed, which is mostly used by small-scale fishmongers had been taken over by the fishermen, who were using the place to mend their nets as the fishmongers had deserted the place due to the lack of fish.
However, the fishmongers who had stockpiled some fish in deep freezers at the canoe beach were at the post and calling for customers.
Some of them, who on a normal fishing day would be busy selling and cleaning fish for customers, were seen seated and chatting among themselves as, according to them, customers were yet to visit the beach due to the close season.
Awonye DedeTetteh said whenever there was a close season, fish consumers turned only to the cold stores for their fish stocks, having the mindset that there would be no fish for them to buy from the landing beach.
She, therefore, invited patrons to visit the beach and buy fish as they made provisions to cater for their needs during the close season.
On Saturday, July 1, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development performed a ceremony to commence this year’s close season, which is expected to end on July 31, 2023, for the artisanal and inshore fleets, while industrial trawlers would have theirs ending on August 31, 2023.
Section 84 of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625) empowered the Ministry and the Fisheries Commission to declare a closed fishing season as part of a measure to ensure that the fish spawns at least once in its lifetime before being caught.
The objective of the closed season is to reduce overfishing and high fishing pressure, recover overexploited fish stocks, rebuild depleted fish stocks, and replenish the country’s dwindling fish stocks.