Fishermen in Ghana have commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for not implementing the ban on fishing in the country.
On 3 August 2018, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley-Quaye, announced the postponement of the one-month ban initially scheduled to have taken effect from 7 August 2018.
The Minister said the ban has been deferred to August 2019 and that fishermen should be ready by that time.
The ban was intended to have helped increase the country’s fish stock but the Minister said upon further deliberation with stakeholders, it will not come into effect this year.
This followed consultations with fishermen and other stakeholders who expressed concerns about how the ban would have adversely affected their livelihood, especially during the Homowo Festival of the coastal Ga people.
The fishermen had complained that they were also given the notice of the ban only two months prior.
The Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association (GITA), had also argued that they had already observed a closed season in January and February 2018 and, thus, another closed season within the same year would have an adverse effect on their operations.
Speaking on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM Monday, 6 August, Kwabena Badu, a fisherman at the Landing Beach in Elmina, said: “We thank the president for listening to our cry to suspend the ban.
“We did not intend to have disagreements with the government, just that we did not support the idea.”
He added: “We want the president to call the minister to order because her relationship with fishermen in the country is not the best. If it is possible, the president should reshuffle the minister.”
Victor Wood, president of the Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association, Sekondi Takoradi, also told show host, Forson that President Akufo-Addo has demonstrated that he is a listening president and that is commendable.
He said: “This shows that the president is a listening president and that is reassuring,” he said.