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Close season, a major step at replenishing our depleting fish stock-expert advises.

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Chair of the Scientific and Technical Working Group (STWG) of Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP), Prof. Kobina Yankson says more effort needs to be channeled towards ending illegal fishing practices in the country in order to make sense of the one month ban on fishing.

Prof. Yankson who is also a specialist of Marine Ecology and Aquaculture and with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Cape Coast believes government’s decision to enforce the closed season is in the right direction and is calling for more effective interventions to protect the country’s marine world.

He believes time is far overdue for some effective steps to be taken to curtail the alarming decline in marine fish stock in the country.

Speaking in an interview with ATL FM News, Prof. Yankson described the current fish landings as alarming and indicated the closed season is very important as part of measures to attain sustainable fishing and replenish the fishery stock.

He noted though August is touted as the bumper season of marine fishing in Ghana, it is also the maximum spawning period for fishes hence the need to observe the ban during that period.

Prof. Yankson further indicated there must be strict enforcement of all fishery regulations and new measures put in place to reverse the decline of fish stock.

“Closing the fishing season for one month or even one year is not the panacea in itself. After the closure, all the fisheries management rules and regulations must be enforced. For instance, people should not go in with undersized nets and catch the juvenile fishes also People should not use dynamites or chemicals to fish to kill fishes. All these things must stop and if we do not stop doing these things, the closure will not be effective. The closure must be supported with enforcement of the rules and regulations, which are there already”.

The ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development last Friday announced the introduction of a month long close season in August which according to the ministry is aimed at reducing excessive pressure on the fishes and to implement new measures to reverse the over exploitation of fish stocks in Ghana's marine waters.

By: Vera SiripI/ATL FM News

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