The Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council says the activities of some artisanal and canoe fishermen contribute to the issue of dwindling fish stock hence close season exercise should include every fishing group in the industry.
This comes on the back of former President John Dramani Mahama promised that if he wins power, canoe and artisanal fishermen will be exempted from the closed-season exercise.
Mr. Mahama says the closed-season exercise will be for only trawlers.
Speaking to Citi News, Acting President of the Council, Nana Jojo Solomon, says the closed season exercise is a scientific one.
“We have been walked through a lot of scientific reasons why we should manage the stocks and as artisanal fishermen, we have all concluded that we must indeed comply. I’m surprised that this is coming up because whatever it is, it’s adding to the recovery of the stocks. We cannot blame the industrial trawlers alone because whatever it is we are also part of it.”
He added, “we are doing night fishing, we are doing dynamite, chemical fishing, we are doing so many things that are untoward and that have contributed to the collapse. We cannot blame one sector of the industry”.
Closed season otherwise known as the “biological rest period,” is the stopping of fishing activities during the spawning period of the stocks.
Closed seasons are observed as a way of reducing fishing pressure on stocks when they are most productive in terms of allowing the fish a chance to lay their eggs to replace the lost population due to fishing and other natural causes.