The Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association has hinted of price hike on local fish due to a two months ban on fishing effective today, February 1, 2017.

The Fisheries Ministry has directed all trawlers to halt their activities for the next two months.

The objectives of the move which are in keeping with the country’s Fisheries  Management Plan (Marine Fisheries Sector, 2015-2019), are to to help reduce the excessive pressure and over exploitation of the dwindling fish stocks.

Violating this directive shall attract fines ranging from US$ 500,000 to US$ 2 million as well as forfeiture of the catch, fishing gear or vessel to the state.

The Deputy Director for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance at the Fisheries Commission, Godfred Baidoo Tsibu told Starr Business on Tuesday that the directive was reached after a scientific assessment revealed that Ghana’s fish stock is dwindling year on year.

This, according to the Secretary to the Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association, Oyeman Ofori Anin, will greatly affect the industry.

“You are supposed to produce to get to a particular level; if the supply drops and even the demand stays at the same level, something will happen to your price. It’s a simple demand and supply,” he told Starr Business in a separate interview on Wednesday.

Retailers who solely depend on fish from the habour to do business are alarmed at the ban. They fear being thrown out of business within this period.

Ghana has about 98 trawling vessels working on its water bodies.

According to data from the fisheries commission, the industry is estimated to provide livelihood for about 10% of the country’s population.

The countries total marine catch stands at about 340,000 metric tons but the country’s demand is about 900,000 metric tons. The country relies on imports to bridge the gap.