Ghana’s government has banned fishing in the country for two months due to the high rate of decline of fish in its waters.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) issued the ban from February 1st to March 31st which bans over 80 trawlers industrial trawlers from operating on Ghanaian seas from fishing to reduce the excessive pressure on, and over-exploitation of fish stocks.
“In line with the Fisheries Act, violating this directive shall attract fines ranging from 500,000 U.S. dollars to 2 million dollars as well as forfeiture of the catch, fishing gear or vessel to the state,” the statement by the Ministry said.
The government of Ghana understands that around 10 percent of its population depends on fish, but believes that if the measures are not taken there will be a shortage.
“There is need for us to put in these measures. When you put in these measures, the expectation is that we are allowing the fishes to have more time to breed. The fish that we are talking about mature very quickly,” Godfred Baidoo Tsibu, Deputy Director for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance at the Fisheries Commission told the DW
Ghana still harvests the same quantity of fish as it did 50 and 60 years ago of about four million fish a year due to various unregulated means used to catch fish, according to Kofi Agbogah, Director of Hen Mpoano, a non-governmental organization.
Fish retailers are alarmed by the ban afraid of being thrown out of business in the period.