The Fisheries Commission Ghana, has awarded a joint citation of recognition to the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge, BUSAC Fund and the “Hen Mpoano”, a non- governmental organisation for their significant efforts towards a sustainable fisheries sector.
In a statement signed by Mr Cephas Asare, Programme Manager of Hen Mpoano and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Takoradi indicated that the Deputy Western Regional Minister – Alfred Ekow Gyan, presented the citation at the regional farmer’s day celebration held at Asankragwa in the Region. The statement indicated that Mr Gyan acknowledged the role of the two organisations in advocating sustainable fishing practices to combat Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the country.
“Hen Mpoano” (meaning ‘Our Coast)… is committed at promoting sustainable management of fisheries and coastal landscape and draws attention to the fisheries sector on the critical role it plays in providing food security to millions of Ghanaians,” he said.
The statement said the Hen Mpoano received funding from BUSAC Fund for advocacy campaign against IUU Fishing in coastal communities in the Western and Central Regions of Ghana where the the interventions, coordinated with the Fisheries Commission, yielded positive results in creating more awareness of the issue amongst resource users and other relevant stakeholders.
It said IUU fishing violated conservation and management measures currently in place in many countries and was recognised as a serious threat to sustainability of the fishers’ sector due to its negative impact on the ecology of the oceans and economy of fishing nations.
Global losses due to IUU fishing alone are estimated from $ 10 billion and $ 23.5 billion per year with West African waters deemed to have the highest levels of IUU in the world, representing up to 37 per cent of the region’s catch.
This is estimated at $ 100,000 per day, in addition to damage of artisanal equipment in the marine waters of West Africa.
According to the statement Hen Mpoano is still working closely with the Fisheries Commission of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to ensure a more profitable and sustainable fishery sector, which sustains the livelihoods of about 170,000 fishers including women fish processors and about 2.2 million indirect jobs.
It revealed that Ghana’s per capita fish consumption was among the highest in the world at an average of 28 kg per person per annum, which was well above the global average of 20 kg per person per annum.
“The role of the sector is far reaching and needs to receive more attention for improved management, particularly, the marine sector, which is near collapse due to issues such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, weak governance, overcapacity and overfishing.”