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Implications Of The Harmattan Weather On Fishermen

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The Harmattan Season is still in motion, and as usual, blurred visions and hazy weather conditions still persist. The condition mostly affects drivers on the road as well as fishermen at sea, due to the blurred vision they experience.

ATL FM News visited Abrofo Mpoano to assess how the weather is affecting these fishermen. According to Nanabanyin, a fisherman at the Abrofo Mpoano, some fishermen use to go missing at sea, during the harmattan but now, their many years of experience and a technology they use helps them find their way in the thick foggy weather condition.


Harmattan is a season in Ghana that is dry and cold

“Initially we had no experience or knowledge as fishermen and so some go fishing and get missing. They could spend three to four days trying to find their way back to shore. But we now have GPS which we use as compass to give us directions especially during the harmattan when we hardly see anything.

READ ALSO : Cote D'Ivoire: Harmattan threatens cocoa production in West African country


The GPS is like a phone sold on the market. We are trained on how to use it when we buy it. So for instance, when we go fishing, we put the name of where we wish to go to on the GPS and when we are done and coming back, we do same and the GPS directs us to shore. So we don’t get missing as we use to at first” Nana Benyin revealed.

Egya Kwesi is also a fisherman and he reveals some experiences fishermen face at sea during the harmattan season saying “Due to the foggy weather condition at sea during the harmattan season, a vessel at sea might not notice a canoe ahead and as result, collusions normally occur.

These accidents sometimes become fatal leading to loss of lives of fishermen. Fishermen who have no experience at sea can also go missing during this season. As a result some fishermen do not go fishing at all for fear of losing their lives. So our greatest challenge at sea, is during the harmattan season”.

Aside the danger of ships colliding with their canoes during the hazy weather condition, Egya Kwesi tells me a sea creature, which he describes as “the sea god”, sometimes attacks them when at sea.

READ ALSO : Aftermath Of Tidal Waves Incident In Central Region

“The sea god is called Bonsuo. It’s a very big fish and it’s bigger that the canoes here. During the normal season, we are able to keep away from it route, but because of the blurred vision during the harmattan period, we sometimes collide with it, destroying the canoe totally. The sea goddess is also capable of attacking a fisherman who has committed a grave sin”.

On his part, the Central Regional Fisheries Commission’s zonal officer for Mfantseman, Kwame Damoah, is advising fishermen to have life jackets and solar lamps in their boats and canoes to ensure their safety at sea especially during the harmattan season.

He noted that fishermen should not only rely on their long years of experience at sea, neglecting their safety.



Harmattan season on sea   Photo: Sailfeed

“We advise all fishermen to have solar lamps in their canoes to ensure their safety at sea. Also, most of these fishermen do not have these life jackets and if accidents should happen far away in the deep seas it becomes difficult to do any proper rescue. We have gotten to a time that we advise that, there should be some quantity of them in their boats. We expect that our fishermen adhere to some of these advises that we have been giving”.

Source: ATL FM News