Ghana: fishing trawlers with a bumper harvest after the end of the season
Tema – Many trawlers would benefit from a bumper fish harvest, two weeks after the opening of this year’s closed fish season.
The catches mainly consist of goldfish, cassava, octopus, herring, mackerel and salmon.
Normally it would take between four and six weeks for a trawler on a fishing expedition to return with enough catch, but the situation improved greatly after this closed season (August to September), as many vessels returned to the sea. a record time of two weeks with their storage filled to capacity.
This was revealed on Thursday when the Executive Director of the Fisheries Commission, Michael Attah Dadzie, paid a working visit to the Tema fishing port to assess the impact of the season closure.
During the visit, MV Lurongyuanyu 969, owned by Roshen Fisheries, had docked at the port and the crew were busy unloading cartons of fish from the vessel into waiting vehicles.
Ronshen Fisheries operations assistant Richard Nortey said that two weeks during their fishing trip they landed 100 metric tonnes of fish (4,000 boxes).
Mr Nortey, delighted with their achievements, explained that watching the season close really paid off as more fish had regenerated in the sea.
However, a fishmonger, Naa Akorley Abbey, said the speed at which ships landed fish meant cold stores would soon run out of storage space.
She therefore called on the government to consider investment projects in the expansion of these facilities in order to reduce post-harvest losses.
Mr. Dadzie for his part congratulated industry players for appreciating the need to end the season, as part of management measures aimed at improving stock levels.
There are 72 registered trawlers and around 14,000 dugout canoes in Ghana and their ongoing activities put a lot of pressure on the sea.
“The compliance level for the closed season this year was 100%, so that helped improve the inventory level and we can all see the great results that have been achieved,” he said.
Mr Dadzie said the results indicated that the end of the season had worked and it could make it easier to convince players to extend the exercise in the future, improve quality and generate more income.
He encouraged fishermen to save for their future, especially around closed seasons so as not to be caught out.
Mr. Dadzie said the Fisheries Committee for the West-Central Gulf of Guinea is working to ensure that all of its six member countries, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo, are collaborating in the implementation of the closure of the season to ensure excellent results for the Region.
Mr Dadzie responded to a question about what the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development is doing to rationalize the trawling sector where vessels are owned by Chinese and the fishing license is owned by Ghanaians, said : “We ask the actors to enter into a hire-purchase contract between the fishing companies and their partners who brought in the vessels so that ultimately the vessels are paid by the Ghanaian partners. “