The Government of Ghana has warned that fishermen who will be caught flouting the

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has announced a one-month ban on all fishing activities.

READ ALSO: Tilapia Lake Virus:

Sector Minister, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has warned that fishermen who are caught at sea during the closed season will be handed hefty fines.

According to her, government will ensure strict compliance with the one-month ban, adding that defaulters will be fined between $500,000 and $2 million.

She said in addition to the fine, the equipment of the offenders will also be confiscated by government.

“A person who engages in fishing during a closed season declared, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $2 million in respect of a local industrial or semi industrial vessel or 100 penalty units and not more than 500 penalty units in any other case and in addition, any catch, fishing gear or vessel or any combination of them used in the commission of the offence maybe forfeited to the state,” Mrs. Afoley Quaye explained.

The Fisheries Minister added: “It is needful that people are sanctioned when they don’t comply with the law but that is not the interest of government, our duty is to make people comply voluntarily to the closed season.”

READ ALSO: Ban On Tilapia:

The warning comes after the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development earlier announced a ban on the importation of all tilapia species and ornamental fishes.

This was as a result of the emerging Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV), of which some cases have already been reported in some African countries.

A statement from the Ministry said the ban takes effect from 1 July 2018, as an immediate measure to help prevent and control the Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV).

Meanwhile, the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana is unhappy with the ban on tilapia importation.

Executive Director of the Association, Samson Asaki Awingobit, described the ban as a “big blow” to its members who have already placed orders.