The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has indicated that Ghana has recorded a bumper harvest of fish this year.
Cold stores, she said, are not even enough to hold the fish glut.
The minister said this when she accompanied President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to present some 6,336 outboard motors and other fishing equipment to fisherfolk along the coast on Tuesday, 3 December 2019.
“The catch this year is more than the cold stores can take”, she noted.
She said the government’s six cold stores across the country have not been well-taken care of.
“This year, the law has allowed us to give the cold stores to companies that can take better care of them, so, we are in the process of changing ownership. We are working on restoring power to the cold store at Prampram so that it can be reopened for use,” she added.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has said that traditional rulers along the coastal belt of Ghana have acknowledged the benefits of the ban placed on fishing activities earlier this year.
The government in August and September this year placed a ban on all fishing activities.
The ‘closed season’, according to the fisheries ministry, was to save some species of fish such as mackerel, anchovies, and others that are going extinct in the country’s waters due to poor fishing practices.
The ministry further explained that it was also to allow all fish, in general, to breed so as to increase their population and spur bumper harvest for the fisherfolk.
Thanking the fisherfolk in the country for adhering to the closed season, the President indicated that: “I am also happy to hear that the leaders and citizens appreciate the work that the government is doing.”
He continued, “I have been informed that the traditional priests (Wulomei), themselves, have asked that another month be added to the closed season for artisanal fishermen, and for the trawlers, two more months. They, themselves, have seen the benefits of the closed season, so, I will also like to ask that you also put a stop to the practice of light fishing. This way, we will really be able to see some progress.”