Help replicate success of closed season on River Densu at the marine sector – Chief Director, MoFAD
The Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Professor F. K. Nunoo is urging all fisher folks to assist the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission to replicate the positive impact the closed season as observed by oyster pickers on River Densu in the marine sector too.
Date Created : 7/19/2018 3:20:39 AM : Story Author : Dominic Shirimori/Ghanadistricts.com
He said whatever measures being adopted by MoFAD and the Fisheries Commission are to the best interest of fishermen and all other players in the sector as well as promoting and protecting the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on the fishing sector.
His appeal follows testimonies by members of the Densu Delta Oyster Pickers Association (DOPA) who observed 5 months Closed Season from November 15, 2017 to April 10, 2018 and have vowed to make the practice an annual ritual because of the improvement it has brought to their business.
The Acting Chief Director joined DOPA at a Stakeholders Engagement on Community-based Fisheries Management held at Tsokomey on the theme: “Densu Delta Community Oyster Closed Season – Lessons for the National Fisheries Closed Season”.
MoFAD and the Fisheries Commission recently announced August 7 to September 4 2018, as the closed season, to allow for effective spawning in order to reverse the declining fish stock in the Ghanaian waters.
Prof Nunoo who was impressed with the good the closed season has brought to oyster harvesting with increased harvest and larger oyster size said they look forward to similar stories after the one month closed season in the marine sector and assured that a lot more other measures including strict enforcement of laws to ensure they achieve their target.
USAID through its Sustainable Fisheries Management Project and the Development Action Association, the local implementing partners introduced co-management practices among the oyster harvesters as a means of ensuring sustainability of the oyster harvesting business.
DOPA members were introduced to the basic science of oyster habitats and reproduction, with knowledge in water quality, salinity, acidity, and turbidity, growth and spawning cycles among others.
Based on the acquired knowledge, they collectively agreed to a five months closed season to help revive the oyster industry and this was observed from November last year to April this year when the season was declared opened.
It is therefore not surprising that the members are bent on ensuring the annual observation of the closed season so that future generations do not have problem with this generational occupation.
A member of DOPA who recounted how difficult it was convincing people to go along with the ban said with positive results after the closed season, many of such individuals who initially opposed the practice came on board and supported the idea.
Meanwhile, as part of the sustainable management practices, DOPA members are also engaged in mangrove restoration plantation along the Densu Estuary, since the mangroves play significant role in spawning of fish.