The 2022 fishing closed season is set to begin from July 1, 2022, to August 31, 2022, a press statement issued by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission has announced.
The statement signed by the sector minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson, dated April 12, 2022, specified that July 1 to July 31, 2022, is the closed season period for artisanal and semi-industrial fleets while July 1 to August 31, 2022, will be observed by industrial trawlers.
Observance of the closed season, according to the ministry, is in line with section 84 of the Fisheries Act, 2002 (Act 625), and forms part of strategies to reduce the excessive pressure and over-exploitation of stocks in the marine sub-sector which will help replenish the fish stocks.
“It must be indicated that the period of the 2022 closed season was agreed on based on scientific evidence and stakeholder consensus,” the statement said, indicating that during the closed season period, the ministry will not supply premix fuel to the coastal landing beach committees.
The minister, in an earlier interview with journalists, described the 2021 fishing closed season as “largely successful”, despite initial agitations by some fisher folks.
She said the closed season in July yielded more fish catch for both artisanal and semi-industrial fleets than catches in the same period of 2020 – where there was no closed season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The 2021 closed season, observed during the major upwelling, thus, allowed both the small pelagic and demersal species to spawn and grow much bigger for recruitment into the fisheries mix,” she said.
Ms. Hawa Koomson also disclosed MoFAD’s intention to introduce an extra closed season from December to February to help in the replenishment of pelagic fish.
“Based on scientific evidence and recommendations, it is the desire of MoFAD that an additional one-month closed season for all fleets during the minor upwelling season (December to February) be observed. This will be considered in the near future in consultation with fisheries sector stakeholders,” she said.
The ministry has stated its willingness to increase vigilance to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing which might threaten sustainability and effort to rebuild depleted fish stocks.
It added that activities are far advanced for the acquisition of a research vessel and four patrol boats for the fisheries sector.