ACCRA, The fisheries sector in Ghana is in crisis with declining catches and nearly irreversible damage to the country’s fish resources, the World Bank says.

Dr Kathleen Beegle, the World Bank Programme Leader for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, said here Wednesday that strong practical commitment was needed to reverse the depletion of Ghana’s fish stock.

Fish and other aquatic resources are valuable, renewable natural resources of Ghana, which, if well managed, can significantly contribute to the national economy and socio-economic development, she told the 3ird School of Social Sciences International Conference at the University of Ghana (UG).

“Fisheries generated over one billion dollars in 2009, accounting for nearly 4.5 per cent of gross domestic product; directly and indirectly providing livelihood for about 2.5 million people; constituting 60 per cent of animal protein consumption in Ghana,” Dr Beegle added in her keynote address to the conference.

“There is the marvellous Ghana coastline which needs a coastal management policy, in line with the Abidjan Convention that emphasises management of social, natural and economic capital in the coastal zone to reduce erosion and flooding,” she stated.

The annual conference focuses on theoretical and practical issues concerning inclusiveness and development and this year’s theme is “Promoting Inclusiveness and Sustainable Development in Africa”. The two-day conference is being organized by the university’s College of Humanities, with support of the university’s Office of Research, Innovation and Development, the World Bank, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).