Fishermen in Elmina and Cape Coast in the Central Region have said a ban on light fishing would adversely affect their work, as that has been the norm, which aids them to increase their catch.
As fishermen prepare to resume fishing from 1st August 2021, a number of them have been pouring out their displeasure on some policies affecting the industry to Citi News.
They say since the introduction of pair trawling on Ghanaian waters, they are unable to get enough fish without the use of light.
According to the fishermen, the announcement by the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, to ban light fishing would not materialise.
Many are the fishermen who say, the ban on light fishing and the use of small nets for fishing would take their daily bread from them.
They complained that pair trawling has destroyed the local fishing industry and that light fishing has saved their livelihood from collapse.
The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, announced that any fisherman who would be caught engaging in light fishing would be arrested.
But a section of the fishermen in Elmina and Cape Coast say they would not comply.
Kofi Smaila, a fisherman, said, “they [government] say we should not use light for fishing, but we can’t comply because the pair trawlers would take all the fish. We don’t even get enough fish. If we stop using the light, we’ll go hungry. If they stop the pair trawling, we’ll also stop the light fishing.”
Another fisherman, Evans Kortey, said, “if they ban light fishing, it would affect local fishermen. Some of us are illiterates, but we are able to cater for our family because of fishing. The ban on light fishing would really affect us.”
Closed season extended in Elmina to ‘punish’ fisherfolk
Meanwhile, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, has extended the closed fishing season in Elmina over the fishermen’s decision to engage in light fishing.
The Minister also said the government will not provide the fishermen in Elmina with premix fuel over their unwillingness to renounce light fishing.
The Fisheries Minister said this on Saturday while reopening the fishing season for Canoe and Inshore fishermen at a ceremony in Sekondi in the Western Region.
“By the close of today [Saturday] and tomorrow [Sunday], all the landing beaches will have premix fuel, except Elmina because we don’t want them to go fishing.”
“We will refuse them some premix fuel. The logistics that they need from the government to go fishing, we will not give to them for some time,” the minister said.