Prices of assorted fish sold in the Cape Coast Metropolis and Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipality of the Central Region have shot up.
The sharp increase in the prices of fish came, days after the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission imposed the 2021 'Closed Season' starting from Tuesday, July 1 to Tuesday, August 31.
The closed fishing season is intended to reduce over exploitation and to ensure fish stock replenishment in Ghana's marine waters.
Speaking in separate interviews with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), scores of disgruntled fish sellers blamed the sharp increase in the prices of fish on high cost of transportation due to the closed season.
According to the traders, in the absence of fresh fish from the sea, they were forced to buy from industrial frozen fish outlets in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Takoradi.
They claimed the price of such imported frozen fish were exorbitant and the taste was different from fresh fish from the sea.
"The prices of fish we buy from the cold stores are high as compared to the fresh fish from the fishermen," Madam Afua Nyamekye, a 35-year-old fish seller at Elmina claimed.
She said prior to the closed season, three pieces of smaller red fish sold for GH¢10.00 had risen to GH¢20.00 while the bigger size had jumped from GH¢20.00 to GH¢40.00.
Madam Afua Atta, a trader also said the price of fish on demand - salmon, "ankwawona" and "Anoku" had increased from GH¢10.00 to GH¢20.00 and were limited in supply.
In Cape Coast, the situation was not different as sellers lamented about poor sales due to the increase in prices.
Nana Adadzewa, a 67-year-old fishmonger, said an 'olonka' (Measuring can) of fresh tilapia fingerlings (mpatoa), which was sold for GH¢5.00 had increased to GH¢10.00 while a box of salmon had increased from GH¢370.00 to GH¢475.00 and that of three sizable crabs is now GH¢15.00 instead of GH¢10.00.
Generally, the fish sellers kicked against the closed season saying, it would have had dire consequences on their livelihoods and that it was not the solution to the depleting fish stock, but rather the strict enforcement of existing fishing regulations.
"The government must act now to save fishers from becoming impoverished", they pleaded.