By: Sheriff Iddrisu
After waiting for one month due to the closed season, various canoes particularly at the Tema Landing Beach are on the sea for fishing expedition.
The closed season officially began on, 1st July and ended July 31, for Artisanal and Inshore fleets while 1st July to August 31, 2022 will end the trawl sector.
With less than some hours for the closed season for artisanal fishing to end, fishing expedition, inshore and canoe fishermen at the Tema Canoe Landing Basin have started preparing to resume fishing activities.
They are mending their fishing net, repairing and painting their canoes in readiness for the official lifting of the month-long moratorium that started on 1st of July and ends on to July 31 2022.
When our correspondent Sheriff Iddrisu visited the Tema Landing Beach, fishermen had gathered in pairs and groups, mending their worn out nets while others who had completed mending had spread them out to dry.
Those with weak canoes had employed the services of carpenters or had picked up carpentry tools, to fix them in addition to paddles and other fishing accessories.
Painters were at work, shining canoes and beautifying them with the names of their owners, Bible quotations, symbols and patterns which serve as identification and inspiration to their respective owners.
The sounds of outboard motors, being refurbished, pierced through the unusually quiet beach.
Other fishermen were taking a nap in their canoes or under sheds, possibly relaxing for the busy days ahead.
It was also observed that a petrol sales point which provided fuel for outboard motors and a cold store where excess fish were kept were shut in line with the closed season. It was evident that the closed season had slowed down activities at the beach.
Speaking to Awudum Woletse, Nii Odametey, noted that fishers at the Tema Canoe Basin are not embarking on fishing expedition today because they are waiting for official announcement of reopening of season.
after sacrificing for one month, they were expecting to see improvement in their catch as indicated by the government before the ban, saying fishermen nationwide complied with the directive despite the initial opposition.
Nii Odametey expressed concerned over the irregular supply of Premix Fuel which he noted is hampered the work of artisanal fishers before announcement of the closed season and called on the Premix Fuel Secretary to take a second look at the distribution of the product hence the availability of premix fuel at the various canoe landing beach sites in the country.
The closed season introduced by the government is to allow the country’s territorial waters to replenish its depleting fish stock which had been a result of poor fishing practices and over exploitation of the sea.
According to a Fish Stock Assessment Report by the Fisheries Commission of MoFAD, the fisheries sector suffered a decline of 14.5 percent in total marine fish production.