The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in partnership with Ghana Fisheries Recovery Activity (GFRA) has launched an alternative livelihood training support programme to help sustain the income flow of fishers.
The Sector Minister, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, said the programme started with 550 fishers who are currently undergoing training in masonry, carpentry, dressmaking, hairdressing, electronics and auto engineering in selected Communities along the coast.
She disclosed this at the 2023 closed season stakeholder engagement on Thursday in Accra.
The Minister said, “This training would be scaled up to cover 8,000 fishers aged from 18 to 35years. After the training, trainees would be supported to set up to ensure that they can earn income from their trade.”
The project, according to the Minister, was adopted to protect the livelihood of the fishers in the fishing communities during the closed season because studies have revealed that most of them solely depend on fishing for survival.
Touching on what the government has been doing to support the fishers during the closed season, the Minster said the ministry in 2022 distributed 20,000 bags of rice and oil to the affected fishers during the season.
“I must also mention that, the fishers have been supported with 6,000 wire mesh, 20,000 basins, 1710 chest freezers and 1150 outboard motors,” she added.
Mrs Koomson, however, admitted that the relief items are not sufficient to sustain them throughout the month-long closed season and therefore admonished them to endeavour to save towards it.
The Minister declared that Inshore and Canoe Fishers would observe their closed season from 1st to 31st July 2023 while Industrial Trawlers observe theirs from 1st July to 31st August 2023.
A presentation of studies on 2022 closed season was delivered to the stakeholders to show them its benefits. The fishers testified to its relevance and advocated for a law to ensure its perpetuation.
Bala Ali, ISD