Fishermen and fishmongers at the Albert Bosomtwi Sam (ABS) Fishing Harbour at Sekondi have declared impressive fish catch after this year’s Closed Season ended.
“We have seen some sardinella, snapper, cassava fish among others, which is a positive sign that the season will be good,” Papa Kwansa Essuman, a boat owner, told B&FT.
He said after the ministry lifted the ban on fishing he has been able to make encouraging sales: “Within the last week I have been selling fish to fishmongers, some food vendors as well as individual, and this has been very encouraging”,.
However, he noted that the irregularity in supply of premix fuel has been a worry to most of the fishermen and boat owners, as they are unable to go further out to sea to cast their nets.
“We can explore some other areas to get more fish, except for the exclusive zones. But if we do so and the premix gets finished out at sea, how are we going to get back?” he asked.
He appealed for government to have a conversation with the authority assigned with the sale and distribution of premix fuel to ensure constant supply.
Innocent Fiabu, a fisherman, pointed out that the weather pattern at sea these days is so cold; and when this happens the fish becomes less active as they dive deeper into the water, making them harder to catch.
Madam Martha Essuon, also a fishmonger at Sekondi Beach, pointed out that there has been some improvement in fish catch – but they are expensive.
She is hopeful that continuous catches by fishermen might reduce the price of fish at the shore.
Response from GNCF Western Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen (GNCF) Association, Mike Abakah-Edu, explained that prior to opening of the closed season there had been four consignments of premix fuel for all landing beaches across the country.
He said fishermen in the Western Region have already had their share of premix fuel from the delivery, and hope they will receive more soon.
On the weather pattern, he further explained that for every season there is migration pattern of the fish; and the changing of sea temperature also contributes to fish catch.
He expressed hope that the situation regardung premix fuel and the weather will improve soon.
Western Regional Secretary of the Ghana Canoe Fishermen Council, Ebenezer Yorke, added that fuel, food, engine oil, ice blocks, marine gas oil, among others used when going fishing, have all become expensive – leading to an increase in the price of fish.
Currently, he said, some of fishermen use super in place of premix so they can go fishing.