The group, which is made up of fishermen and canoe owners from the Western, Central, Volta and Greater Accra Regions, said as majority representatives of the fishing community, they were ready to abide by the closed season, which begins in a week’s time.
Nii Tetteh Ashong II, Chief Fisherman of Kpone, said this on behalf of the group in a press conference in Accra on Wednesday.
He said the fishing community was taken aback by comments attributed to the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC), which seek to suggest that an alternative date should be considered by the government for the closed season this year.
Nii Ashong II said the date was chosen as suitable following an expansive stakeholder engagement with the government.
“We believe that since most traditional festivals are held around the months of July/August our apt choice of May to June is the best,” he said.
He said the suggestions made by the GNCFC did not reflect the true position of fishermen in the country because the “chief fishermen representing coastline fishing enclaves around the country were conspicuously missing” from the conference.
“The prejudiced and fragmented attempt to represent all fishing enclaves with five chief fishermen from zone one in Greater-Accra Region can only be described as a desperate attempt to clutch unto credibility in the face of apparent vainness,” he said.
Nii Ashong II said artisanal fishermen and trawlers have been deliberately placed at alternate ends of the closed season period to ensure that there was no complete absence of fishing during the period.
He commended the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) for reducing the trawler numbers from an initial 93 to 73 and ensuring that two closed seasons were observed.
He however appealed to the MOFAD to suspend the supply of premix fuel during the closed season and urged the law enforcement agencies to deal with anyone found breaching the closed season.