Ivory Coast, a major African tuna-exporting country, is to introduce closed seasons for sea fishing. The aim is to halt the decline in fish stocks, particularly at the beginning of 2024 for tuna vessels.
On May 25, the Minister for Animal and Fisheries Resources, Sidi Tiemoko Touré, held a press briefing. He took the opportunity to announce the annual seasonal closure of sea fishing, also known as “biological rest”.
Fishing will be closed for one month in July for artisanal fishermen, for two months for industrial fishermen in July and August, and for three months for tuna vessels from January to March.
The aim of these closures is to allow fish stocks to recover. Fines ranging from $80,000 to $493,000 are envisaged for offenders.
“The viability of fish stocks around the world continues to deteriorate. In Ivory Coast, sea fishing production fell from 69,769 tonnes in 2003 to 42,738 tonnes in 2020, a drop of 38.75%”.
As well as helping to regenerate and increase production naturally, the desired result by 2025 is to achieve 50% national coverage of varied and diversified fisheries resources.
This closure will be carried out by mutual agreement with Ghana. Ghana adopted biological rest in 2016. It will then be extended to the member countries of Fisheries Committee for the West entral Gulf of Guinea (FCWC).