The decline in fish production at the Albert Bosomtwi-Sam Fishing Harbour in Sekondi is a concerning issue with several contributing factors.
Madam Ayorkor bemoaned the decline in the catch of fish with these factors:
1. Close Season and Bumper Harvest: The close season in July was followed by a bumper harvest in August. However, the situation reversed in September with a decline in fish production.
2. Fish Movement to Jomoh and Tema: According to the Queen Mother of the fishing harbor, Ohemaa Ayorkor, the fish have moved to other locations such as Jomoh and Tema, leaving Sekondi with fewer fish. Fishermen are reportedly traveling long distances to these areas to catch fish, resulting in scarcity in Sekondi.
3. Bad Fishing Practices: Ohemaa Ayorkor attributed the decline to bad fishing practices among local fishermen. She mentioned the use of harmful chemicals and the failure to follow traditional, sustainable fishing methods.
4. Lack of Adherence to Advice and Sanctions: Despite advice and sanctions by the Marine Police, some fishermen continue with unsustainable practices.
5. Hope for Change: Ohemaa Ayorkor expressed hope that the situation might change in the coming weeks, emphasizing that fish availability is seasonal.
6. Environmental Factors: The destruction of wetlands along the coast of Sekondi-Takoradi has been noted as a contributing factor to the decline in fish production. These wetlands play a crucial role in supporting fish populations.
7. Role of Mangroves: Mangrove vegetation is essential for fish production as it serves as a natural nursery and shelter for various marine organisms. Their destruction can negatively impact aquatic life.
8. Overfishing and Close Season: Overfishing has been identified as a problem, and the government has introduced the close season to address this issue. The effectiveness of enforcing the close season is crucial for sustainable fish production.
9. Government Intervention: It is suggested that taking all these factors into consideration, including the protection of wetlands and mangroves, and the enforcement of regulations, can lead to a remarkable increase in fish production in Sekondi-Takoradi.
In summary, the decline in fish production in Sekondi-Takoradi is a complex issue influenced by a combination of factors, including unsustainable fishing practices, environmental degradation, and the movement of fish populations.
Addressing these challenges will require concerted efforts from local communities, fishermen, authorities, and the government to ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries in the region.