Eleven (11) fishing communities surrounding the PRA Estuary in the Shama District of the Western Region have successfully observed a 3-month closed fishing season from May 2018 till date.
The people through local ecological knowledge identified 6 fish breeding grounds where most fish species lay their eggs and with support from the civil society group, Friends of the Nation (FON) and the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) supported by USAID, closed an area of 70.33 hectares in size for fishing from May 1,2018 to date; speaking during a ceremony to officially open the season for fishing after the 3-month closed season, the Director of Fisheries at the Fisheries Commission, Michael Arthur-Dadzie, disclosed.
He lamented how fisher-folks did not give in to a month-closed season as proposed, adding that the expected bumper harvest in August could not been realised making it evident that the fishing sector was undergoing serious challenges.
The director of fisheries further warned that if care was not taken, the fishing industry would collapse if a business as usual approach was adapted.
He, therefore, commended the Anlo Beach community for the exemplary feat in observing a 3-month closed season, calling on all fisher-folks and fishing communities to emulate.
The District Chief Executive of Shama (DCE), Joseph Amoah, revealed that the district offered all support needed by the Anlo Beach Co-Management group to ensure a successful closed season.
“We have duly registered the group to have full management control of the fisheries resources in the demarcated area; we have also included issues of fisheries management in our Medium-Term Development Plan (2017-2021),” the DCE added.
He further hinted that they would ensure it is observed annually.
Elizabeth Koomson, who is a member of the Pra Estuary Co Management Committee, showcased how fishes looked like before the closed season and how the fishes have increased in size after the 3-month closed season.
Members of Tsokomey, Tetegu and Bortianor Co-Management were also present to show support and solidarity as they also had undertaken a similar exercise for 5 months.
For her part, the Queenmother of Nyaankrom, a town in Shama, Nana Akosua Gyamfiaba urged government to be firm.
Story: From Simon AHENSAH, SHAMA, WESTERN REGION