GHANA FACING ANNUAL FISH PRODUCTION DEFICIT OF 600,000 TONNES

Ghana has a huge fish production deficit of more than 600,000 tonnes annually, says the Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye.

Currently the country produced only 440,000 tonnes of fish annually instead of one million tonnes needed by consumers thus falling short by over 50 per cent, she said when appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting here Thursday.

In order to close the gap, she said, the Ministry had developed a Fisheries Management Plan to provide guidance on how the country can meet consumer demand, including observing closed fishing seasons and avoiding illegal fishing practices.

The Ministry will also strengthen inland and marine fishing efforts and has started enforcing closed fishing seasons for industrial fishermen in January this year, while the semi-industrial fishermen started observing it from February to March 31.

The Ministry will bring the artisanal fishers on board to observe the closed fishing seasons in order to replenish fish stocks.

It will also set up an inter-sectoral committee comprising representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Water Resources Commission and the Fisheries Commission under a single umbrella to speed up the process of acquiring aquaculture permits for potential investors.

The government intended to increase aquaculture fish production from the current 50,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes within the shortest possible time, she added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK