1. LOCATION of MAIN LANDING SITES
Ghana has a large number of fish landing
sites exist, both along the coast and on Lake Volta, serving industrial, inshore and
artisanal vessels. A typical industrial vessel landing site is equipped
with a landing berth, net mending sheds, fish discharge sheds, fish
market, offices and a boatyard. Tema Fishing Harbour is the main landing site for industrial
vessels, though Takoradi harbour also has berthing facilities for industrial
vessels. Together, the industrial vessel landing sites reported 86 454 tonne,
or just over one quarter of total marine fish output in 2002.
Inshore landing sites would typically include some of the
following: berthing bay, boatyard, boat repair facilities, net mending
shed, workshop for repair and maintenance of outboard motors and marine
engines, net drying area and fish market. The most important landing
sites for inshore vessels are Tema Fishing Harbour, Takoradi fish landing facilities,
the old Sekondi Fishing Harbour, and the Albert Bosomtwe Fishing Harbour. Together, the inshore landing sites
reported 7 785 tonne, equivalent to about 3% of marine fish
output, in 2002.
Typically, artisanal landing sites are characterized by a
dearth of the facilities available at the industrial and inshore vessel
landing sites. Important artisanal landing sites are Teshie, Jamestown, Chorkor, Shama, Axim, Elmina, Winneba,
Mumford, Akplabonya, Adina, Atiteti, Abutiakope and Moree. Together,
the artisanal landing sites are estimated to have accounted for 20 0769 tonne
of fish, equivalent to 69% of total marine fish output in 2002.
There are about 310 landing beaches along the very long stretch
of Lake Volta. Of these, Yeji is the most important.
Others include Kwamekrom, Tapa Abotoase, Kpando Torkor, Dzemeni, Torkurroano,
Dambai Brumben, Ekye Amenfrom, Nyuinyui Nos. 1 & 2, Akateng and
Akokoma Sisi. Together, these landing sites accounted for landings of
75 000 tonne of fish in 2002. In addition, rivers, dams and
ponds are also significant sources of fish, estimated to have been about
13 000 tonne in 2002. The 1998 Volta Lake frame survey suggest that there were
24 035 boats of all types, equipped with 973 outboard motors and no
Total inland fish production for 2002 was about 88 000 tonne,
implying that Lake Volta contributed 85% of total inland fish
production that year.
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN GHANA
Department of Fisheries operates within the Ministry of Food and Agriculture,
with the following sector objectives:
sector management systems
Ghana, there are separate management systems,
for Marine fisheries and for Lake Volta fisheries. Together, the two management
plans attempt to respond to ecological, socio-economic and institutional
issues related to the development of the national fishery. To conform
to the global policy environment, the national fisheries management
plans draw heavily on the:
of conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) policy matrix;
development strategy models; and
area management models.
number of cross-cutting concepts run through the two management plans.
- Process, concerned
mainly with adaptive management in response to fluctuations in the
fishery (bio-physical stocks) allowing for adjustment in fishing
pressure in the short term while ensuring fishery system sustainability
in the long term.
- A precautionary
approach entailing a combination of multi-disciplinary strategies
and effective monitoring systems to respond to the multifaceted
concerns related to abundance fluctuation in fish stocks; different
interest groups; and trends and variation in gear and technology
in pursuit of co-management to increase local involvement in resource
use decision-making so as to engender ownership among stakeholders
and commitment in implementing regulatory mechanisms.
which proposes the appropriation of territorial fishing property
rights to communities or zones (groups of communities), in contrast
to the current open access system, which has presented difficulties
in terms of control, and has resulted in overexploitation.
- A policy of
effective monitoring control and surveillance (MCS) that relies
heavily on the collection and analysis of accurate and relevant
data and information.
and resolution of conflicts arising directly from competing demands
for use of the aquatic resource base, or indirectly from externalities
generated by non-fishing activities.
- Promotion of
public awareness of resource conservation and management needs,
taking advantage of economic, social and cultural values associated
with different resources.
related to gear type, mesh size, licensing, levies, gear type and
close seasons to regulate effort and sustain stocks.
- Economic policy
related to energy, credit and promotion of measures that ensure
efficient exploitation of the fishery resource to meet the nutritional
needs of the people and for export.
fisheries management systems
the marine fisheries sector, there are separate management subsystems
for small pelagics, large pelagics, demersals, shrimp and lobsters.
The main elements of the management regime are:
industrial vessel fishing effort (especially trawlers and shrimpers)
by limiting entry into the fishery through a licensing regime; and
the mesh sizes to be used in any particular fishery in order to
limit the exploitation of juvenile or immature fishes (including
shellfish and molluscs).
For the small pelagic fishery, management rules and regulations
have been formulated with the intention of protecting juveniles of sardinella.
These regulations are primarily intended to work through input limitation,
such as mesh size limits. There is also an attempt, to the extent feasible,
to identify and take actions with the support of interested parties
to forecast and reduce the often high variability in the recruitment,
abundance and availability of small pelagic fish resources.
An important component of the large pelagic management regime
is to ensure compliance by all Ghana-based vessels with the standard
regulations issued by ICCAT. Of particular concern is the enforcement
of regulations that ensure the escape and survival of juveniles from
nets and the combined use of purse seiners and Fish Aggregation Devices
demersal fisheries management plan confronts major culprits for stock
depletion: shrimpers and trawlers. The aim is to allow stocks to recover
to a sustainable level, where they could be harvested in perpetuity.
In the short term, issuing permits for the importation and replacement
of trawlers and shrimpers is to be discontinued.
A closed season is to be imposed on the shrimp and trawl fisheries
for 3 years, after which trawling and shrimping will be banned for 5–10
years if the 3-year close season regime does not result in the expected
recovery of stocks.
trawling activity (by inshore vessels or industrial vessel) would be
permitted within the Inshore Exclusion Zone (IEZ), and the IEZ is to
be amended, from the 30-m depth line to 12 nautical miles.
Beach seining will be prohibited and existing mesh size regulations
will be vigorously enforced.
There are a few traditional management systems, which tend
to regulate access to marine fisheries in Ghana and thereby conserve the fish stocks.
every fishing village there a non-fishing day is observed each week
(mainly on Tuesday, but sometimes on Wednesday or Sunday), which
fishers use to maintain gear and equipment, rest and for social
some communities, there is a total ban on fishing activities for
various periods (up to two weeks) prior to and during annual festivals.
other areas, there is a ban on a particular fishery for a period,
e.g. in the Greater Accra Region there is ban on Dentex
spp. for a period before the Homowo festival of the Ga people
2.4 Volta Lake fisheries management system
lake fisheries management strategy is built around six strategic goals,
with a set of actions outlined to achieve each strategic goal.
The first strategic goal for the management of lake fisheries
is the regulation of fishing mortality within the framework of an adaptive
management approach. The principal
actions to accomplish the first strategic goal include:
Specially Protected Areas (SPA) as breeding and nursery areas;
fishery regulations on the use of active gear, the exploitation
of gravid fish and under-meshed nets;
of a licensing system and entry requirement that will reduce the
current fleet by 30%;
the minimum mesh size to 7.62 cm for all nets; and
subsidies on premix fuel as a way of discouraging the use of the
winch (encircling) nets.
The second strategic goal is concerned with harmonization
and strengthening of the institutional environment for fisheries management,
development and research on Lake Volta. A key action in connection with
the second goal is the proposed establishment of a coordinating body
for fisheries management, development and research.
Following on from the second strategic goal, the third goal
concerns the establishment of co-management institutions that can sustainably
manage territorial use rights regimes using local community structures
and mechanisms. Actions proposed
include the provision of a legal framework for Community-Based Lake Management Committees (CBLMCs); empowering
them to undertake registration and licensing of fishing vessels; and
integrating them into the fisheries management system.
The fourth strategic goal is concerned with improving the
socio-economic conditions of lakeside communities. Significant measures aim to influence population
patterns as well as to preserve and improve infrastructure, with promotion of alternative
livelihoods supported by an effective credit system.
The fifth strategic goal addresses the ecological environment
that can sustain existing alternative livelihoods such as farming and
livestock rearing. In this respect,
the fifth goal aims at introducing agroforestry practices to increase
supply of wood and enhance agricultural productivity, coupled with introduction
of ecologically efficient and environmentally sound production and land
use systems and practices.
The sixth strategic goal concerns the effective implementation
of a policy matrix that reflects the Code of Conduct for Responsible
Fisheries, coastal area management models and integrated development
strategy models. Fundamental
concerns to be integrated into the national policy matrix include:
Fishery Sector involves a variety of government and non-governmental
under the Fisheries Commission Act 457 of 1993, and operating under
the Fisheries Law PNDC Law 256 of 1991, the Fisheries Commission has
the mandate of regulating and managing fishery resources and coordinating
fishery policy. Specifically, the commission ensures that fisheries
resources are exploited on a sustainable basis, settles disputes and
conflicts among operators, advises government on all matters related
to fisheries, and advocates on issues to protect, promote and develop
the fishing industry. The Commission
is, however, constrained by lack of funding to effectively deliver its
of Fisheries (DoF)
Department of Fisheries (DoF) now serves as the implementation secretariat
of the Fisheries Commission, as stipulated by the Fisheries Act 625
of 2002. It fulfils this role by:
deliver these functions through several mechanisms, including sea patrols;
observer programmes; port and landing inspection; licensing; vessel
registration; formation and strengthening of CBFMCs; statistics gathering
and analysis; and consensus building.
The DOF MCS Division was established under the Fisheries
Subsector Capacity Building Project (FSCBP).
The mandate of the Division is to enforce the Fisheries Laws.
The MCS Division, with the collaboration of the Ghana Navy,
conducts sea patrols to exclude industrial fishing vessels from the
30-m IEZ, reserved for artisanal fisheries. The Division also carries
out quayside inspection of industrial vessels at the fishing ports of
Tema and Takoradi, checking for valid fishing licences, legality of
fishing gear, skipper’s certificate, log book and crew composition,
and effects similar supervision of the Lake Volta fisheries.
under PNDC Law 327 of 1993, the Ministry of local Government and Rural
Development (MLGRD) is the key institution with responsibility for facilitating
the establishment and development of a vibrant and well-resourced decentralized
system of local government. MLGRD
is responsible for managing fishers, fish processors and fishery resources
at district and subdistrict levels.
Recently, the District Assemblies in collaboration with DOF,
have been mandated to facilitate fishery resource management by: helping
in forming and sustaining CBFMCs; cooperating with the DoF MCS units;
providing legal and financial support to the CBFMCs; and approving levies
proposed by the CBFMCs.
Fisheries Management Committees
Community-Based Fisheries Management Committee (CBFMC) is defined as
a local committee, formed in a fishing community, based on existing
traditional leadership authority and local government structures, legally
empowered by Common Law, and comprising all stakeholders, to oversee
the management and development of the fishing industry.
The genesis of the CBFMCs was derives from DoF’s interest in
ensuring a more sustainable national fishery resources through co-management.
The principal responsibility of the CBFMCs is to enforce
national fisheries laws at community level, as well as to enact and
enforce their own by-laws to the same end.
institutions that contribute to the management of fisheries resources
in Ghana include:
- The Volta River
- NGOs, such as
Friends of the Earth and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.
- Private commercial
entities, such as the Agricultural Development Bank, Rural Banks,
and Continental Christian Trader (a dealer in fishing nets).
- Fisher associations,
such as the National Inland Canoe Fishermen’s Council (NICFC), Ghana
National Canoe Fishermen’s Council (GNCFC), Ghana National Association
of Farmers and Fishermen, and Ghana Co-operative Fisheries Association.
management has been regulated over the years by a number of laws and
Regulations LI364 of 1964.
(Amendment) Regulation 1977.
30 of 1979 (Fisheries Regulations) and the accompanying regulation,
Fisheries Regulation 1979 LI 1235.
Regulation 1984 (LI 1294).
Fisheries Act 625 of 2002.
Major sections in the laws relate to the building and importation
of motor fishing vessels; licensing of fishing craft; manning of motor
fishing vessels; and MCS. The
laws also address the prohibition of the use of explosives such as carbide
and dynamite; gear restrictions; and prohibition of the landing of juvenile
The current legislation governing the fisheries sector, Fisheries
Act 625 of 2003, amends and consolidates existing laws on fisheries.
It provides for regulation and management of the fisheries, the development
of the fishing industry and the sustainable exploitation of the resources.
It attempts to streamline legislation to respond directly to chronic
and emerging issues and to conform to the national and international
fishery resource development and management strategies.
Specifically, act consolidates and strengthens the legislation
establishing the Fisheries Commission to oversee the Fisheries Directorate,
which becomes a secretariat with structures responsible for policy-making,
administration and enforcement.
Consistent with the current fisheries management and development
strategies, the act provides:
and regulations to control industrial, semi-industrial and artisanal
fishing through registration and licensing;
and promotion of artisanal and semi-industrial fisheries through
extension services, technology transfer, exemptions, reserved areas
for semi-industrial and artisanal fisheries, development of landing
facilities, and cooperation among small-scale fish processors and
of fishing zones, closed seasons and fishing reserves;
of gravid and juvenile lobsters and other crustacea, juvenile fish
and marine mammals;
of fisheries water from pollution;
MCS and enforcement through a special unit to work in collaboration
with the Ghana Navy, Air Force, Ministry of Defence and Ministry
of Justice for effective policing and prosecution of offenders;
seizure, detention, fining, forfeitures and temporary bans for offending
and licensing of aquaculture projects, ensuring that they conform
to environmental laws and specified operational standards; and
of a fisheries development fund to help partially finance the execution
of the fishery development and management strategy and enforce its
rules and regulations.
OF the PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR
recent years, collaboration between the public, private commercial and
private voluntary sectors has becoming more and more important. This
heightening is driven by the recognition of the linkages between commerce,
social development and sustainability interests of the various parties.
Government’s support for commercial interests in the fishing
sector has centred on facilitating access to inputs (premix fuel, marine
gas oil, fishing nets, outboard motors, marine engines) and supporting
infrastructure development, with particular attention to safe landing
Government has over the years pursued social development
programmes in fishing communities. These include mobile clinics in the
form of vessels to reach remote fishing communities, and non-formal
education programmes. Of particular
significance to the fishing sector has been the government’s attempts
to stabilize per capita fish consumption (around 20 kg) through the
effective implementation of a responsive fish import policy.
Perhaps the most important agenda of government with respect
to the fishing sector has been the efforts to ensure the sustainability
of the natural fishing resource, and particularly of fish stocks in
decline. Government has pursued a sustainability agenda through the
establishment of MCS units, and co-management programmes involving collaboration
with other government agencies, such as the Ghana Navy, District Assemblies
and traditional leadership and enforcement institutions.
part of its sustainability ensuring mechanism, government regulates
the operations of private commercial fishers through registration fees
and levies and penalties on offending vessels.
In pursing its cross-cutting commercial, social development
and sustainability-ensuring agenda, government interacts and often collaborates
with a number of private commercial and private voluntary organizations.
Government interactions with the private commercial fisheries
sector are at the level of the individual firm in the case of industrial
fishing and processing companies, and at the level of associations and
CBFMCs for inshore and artisanal fisheries.
Government also maintains contacts and works with a number
of fish importing firms to pursue its responsive fish import policy
to ensure national fish food security.
By engaging in their fish capture and processing activities,
complying with fishing sector regulation, paying registration fees and
levies and importing fish, the private commercial sector contributes
in variety of ways in pursuit of national fishing sector development
The activities of private voluntary organizations complement
government efforts in pursuit of national commercial fishery, social
development and sustainability goals. These NGOs include the Friends
of the Earth, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and World
Vision International (WVI). They have played notable roles by assisting
in the training of CBFMCs, educating fishing communities and associations
on sustainability issues, and facilitating the pursuit of alternative
livelihoods by fishers and fish processors as a way of sustaining national
AND SUBSIDIES IN FISHERIES
has 45 offices and stations and one research vessel. In addition, it
operates with vehicles.
Public investment in the fisheries sector in recent years
has been in the areas of capacity building, infrastructure development
and improved access to inputs and credit.
trends in the dictates of globalization have tended to exert new pressures
on human capital, as higher standard are increasingly demanded by the
global market. Of particular interest in recent years, however, has
been the capacity of local Ghanaian producers to meet current quality
standards enforced under the European Union import and food safety legislation
since 1998. The most important issue has been that of food safety standards.
Smoked fish is a commodity of particular interest after EU raised concerns
that smoked fish from Ghana was processed under unhygienic conditions.
In response to these developments, a US$ 20 000
pilot project, sponsored by UNDP, ITC and Ghana Export Promotion Council
(GEPC), is being undertaken under the export-led poverty reduction project
to assist smoked-fish exporting companies to meet EU standards. It involves
the construction, testing and replication of a pilot fish processing
plant meeting EU specifications, to facilitate the processing of smoked
fish under hygienic and sanitary conditions.
1999, a new fishing harbour – the Albert Bosomtwe Sam Fishing Harbour
– was constructed at Sekondi, using a Government of Japan loan of US$ 13
million. The harbour is equipped with a cold store, an ice-making plant,
offices, a berthing bay for inshore vessels, a jetty for canoes and
a net drying area.
to inputs and credit
Government of Ghana has continued to supply subsidized premix fuel to
fishers through fisher associations. In 1998, nearly 51 million litres
of premix fuel were sold.
Over the years, the Government of Ghana has been assisting
the fishing industry by importing nets and ropes for sale to fishers
direct at no profit. In 1997, the government invested a US$ 5 million
grant from the Government of China to provide such support. Through
the Agricultural Development Bank, these inputs were sold to fisher
In 2001, the Government of Ghana imported 300 units of outboard
motors, and quantities of netting materials for artisanal fisheries.
The fishermen were requested to pay 60% of the cost of items to rural
banks and Agricultural Development Bank branches in fishing communities
In 2001, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture released ¢ 1.08 billion
from its Fisheries Development Fund to purchase 60 outboard engines
for sale to artisanal fishermen.
of demand and supply
projection of demand and supply of fish in Ghana, computed from a baseline
demand of 800 000 tonne in 2002, a population growth rate
of 2.7% and an average achievement rate of 56% over the previous 5 years,
is presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Project fish supply and demand for Ghana, to