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FAO in Ghana

Stakeholders deliberate on ensuring Responsible Fishing activities in Ghana

stakeholders at the forum (Photo by David Youngs)

2 December 2015, Accra–In partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD), the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) Ghana, is helping raise awareness and educate stakeholders on the impacts of illegal fishing activities.


It is estimated that about one-third of fish caught globally happens under circumstances described as Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) and it is valued to cost about 10 billion Euros in lost revenue.


Understanding and addressing the impact of IUU in Ghana


Internationally, impacts of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities has resulted in more than 170 Members states of the FAO adopting the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in 1995. However, despite the adaptation of the Code and the progress it has brought about, not all fishing activities are conducted in a responsible manner.


In 2014, the government of Ghana and FAO signed a Technical Co-operation Programme (TCP) to support in minimizing opportunities for IUU fishing in Ghana.This TCP is in line with Ghana’s Country Programming Framework that provides the sustainable natural resource use and environmental governance needed.


Addressing stakeholders at a forum to raise awareness of IUU activities in Ghana, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture development, Ms. Sherry Ayittey, noted that having proper fishing activities will enhance development for the fisher folks, their communities and the country at large.


“Ghana’s dependence on fisheries resources for socio-economic development cannot be underestimated because as many as 10% of the population draw their livelihood directly or indirectly from the fisheries industry.”


In an address read on his behalf the FAO representative to Ghana,Dr.Abebe Haile-Gabrielcommended Ghana for incorporating the recommendations of ICCAT, FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and other international conventions into its domestic legislation.


“FAO stands with you in this regard and trusts that implementation of the legislation will not only lead to increase in international trade but the sustainable exploitation of aquatic living resources in harmony with the environment on the local and international frontiers.”


Shedding more light on the concept of IUU fishing activities, a technical advisor to the ministry of Fisheries and aquaculture development,Prof. Martin Tsamenyi, observed that the process of fishing is complex and involves various stakeholders at every point. In effect, IUU fishing activities can happen at all the different levels which do not necessarily require one to go to the sea.

In Ghana’s effort to combat the IUU fishing activities, a lot of measures has been implemented that has assured the European Commission to issue the country with a ‘green card’ which gives the country a positive image within the international community with regards to fish trading. However, a lot needs to be done at each level on the ‘fishing- chain’ that involves the industry, management and judicial levels respectively to completely eradicate the IUU fishing activities.