ACCRA– The enforcement of a closed season for fishing in Ghana’s coastal waters by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development will result in increased fish landings by 90,000 tonnes by the year 2030, says an American aid official.
The closed season directive contained in the country’s National Fisheries Management Plan in order to curb the threat of over-fishing, is being implemented in collaboration with other management practices, says James Lykos, the acting Director for Economic Growth at the Office of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Ghana.
Lykos was speaking at the launch Wednesday of a new training centre of the Development Action Association (DAA), a non-governmental organization at Kokrobite in Greater Accra Region (Province), about 30 kilometres west of here. The association serves as a model for local organization leadership roles in community-based marine and coastal resource management.
The centre, whose facilities include storage and processing rooms, was funded by UNSAID under its Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management (SFMP) project, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) and the Costal Resource Centre.
The centre will provide support to national and regional efforts aimed at improving hygienic fish processing and reducing post-catch losses in the small-scale fish processing sector and is estimated to benefit the more than 35,000 small-scale fisher processors in Ghana, mostly women-owned and operated.
According to Lykos, the fishing closed season will go a long way towards securing the livelihood of more than two million people in the fishing sector. He noted that a closed season implemented by the Oyster Pickers Association had led to larger growth of oysters and the members of the association had been able to sell their catch at high prices.
Lykos added that Ghana’s fishing industry was challenged by a number of issues including over-fishing, unsafe fish handling practices, declining fish stocks and polluted marine waters.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK