This report is an overview of the use of the Ghana Aquaculture Geographical Information System (GIS) as a tool for decision-making for fish farming development. It contains the main assumptions, sources of data and highlights the models.
The objective is to identify the districts with the best prospects for fish farming in ponds. The species are Oreochromis niloticus and Clarias gariepinus. The inputs are manures and rice bran.1
A GIS is a computerized approach to storing, manipulating, analyzing and reporting spatial data. Spatial data are those that have a location. Examples are a city (a point on a large-scale map), a road (a line) and a district (a polygon). Each can be assigned a number of attributes. For example, as attributes a city can have a certain population size and a certain fish marketing capacity. A road may be categorized as first, second or third class, or the distance along it to the nearest market may be assigned. To a district can be attributed the number of fish farms it contains.
The GIS being used by this project was developed as part of the preparatory assistance phase of the UNDP/FAO project “Integrated Approach to Aquaculture Development in Africa, RAF/87/077”. Some support for it also came from the FAO Regular Programme of the Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service and from the present project. A more detailed report for the former project is under preparation.
The GIS has been developed at the FAO GIS Centre. When the analyses have been completed it is intended, as foreseen by the project document, to download the data base portion of the GIS on to Ghana Fisheries Department microcomputers for additional analyses and further development.
1 Additional information on farming systems is in the Economics Field Technical Report (3) and in Field Working Papers 4, 6 and 8.