Fisherfolk at Jamestown in the Greater Accra region are blaming their reduced harvest on the closed season.
The government this year banned fishing for one month from May to June as part of measures to regenerate the country’s fast-depleting fish stock.
[contextly_sidebar id=”C5dPNV1VMCwwu1bcFEGRCQVPDAqeJQ2L”]The fishermen, however, say since the end of the ban, they only catch plastics in addition to small amounts of fish.
Speaking to Citi News, some of the fisherfolk noted that they will oppose any directive from the government concerning a closed season in the future.
“The authorities have to be really strict on persons who dump plastics into the sea. If anyone says the closed season was beneficial then that person is telling lies. It seems that God even agrees with us. Something must be done about this practice,” one fisherfolk said.
“We don’t get any catch. When we go fishing, all you come out with is a net full of plastic waste. We return and sit idle without any source of income to feed our families. We have been going for the past three days but we are getting nothing,” another fisherfolk said.
“This period of the closed season has really affected us. Most of the fisherfolk here have no alternative source of livelihood and some have resorted to stealing. It is very embarrassing but they have to find something feed their families. There is no fish, just waste. We will never agree to the close season again,” another fisherman said.
Some fishermen in the Central Region, last year called on the government to place a temporary ban on the use of plastic bags while it takes measures to manage the plastic waste already in the system.
The fishermen said the worsening plastic pollution is threatening their activities at sea.
The fishermen told Citi News that the volume of plastic waste in the sea is massive, and it is contributing to the dwindling fish stock in the country.
Last year, stakeholders in the fisheries sector opposed the ban because of what they said was the failure of the Ministry to inform them ahead of time.
Some fisherfolk at James Town and Chorkor in Accra were also of the view that the ban must not be implemented because it will affect them and their families.