US AID Says Ghana’s Fishing Industry is Rapidly Depleting Supply

US AID Says Ghana's Fishing Industry is Rapidly Depleting Supply
At the third National Fisheries Governance Dialogue, the Mission Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Cheryl Anderson, revealed that Ghana’s unsustainable fishing industry is on the verge of collapse after its peak catch has dwindled significantly within the last 10 years. Just 10 years ago, the country’s fishermen were able to bring in 120,000 metric tons of fish, while today the peak catch is at a mere 30,000 metric tons.

The country’s artisanal fisherman contributes nearly 70 percent of the country’s fish supply, and fish is a main dietary staple in many households throughout Ghana, with nearly 60 percent of citizens citing fish as their main source of protein. Because of this, USAID says it is of the utmost importance to reverse unsustainable fishing practices and mitigate for what damage has already been done to the supply.

The Coastal and Fisheries Initiative, financially sponsored by US AID, is working to come up with a system that will include more efficient management of fisheries and that would allow for swift action and changed policies. The talks will include input from “Members of Parliament, traditional leaders, district chief executives, fisheries stakeholders, international consultants, chairman and officials of Fisheries Commission and World Bank representatives.”

Anderson said that US AID hopes the measures to be taken will prevent Ghana from falling into economic disarray and hunger crisis, as other countries who relied so heavily on the fishing industry have done in the past.

The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for Ghana admitted that the country had not used its fishing resources efficiently, with many fishing communities still poverty-ridden, but said that the administration was ready and willing to consider new methods for encouraging sustainable practices in Ghana’s fishing industry.

Christina Kindlon

Source: GhanaWeb