Ms. Hanny Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Ghana
Ms. Hanny Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture said a major breakthrough had been made in the fisheries industry to expand production and combat illegal, unprotected and unregulated fishing in the country.
Ms Ayittey disclosed that the fisheries amendment regulation (LI 2217) 2015 had been reviewed to give meaning to the fisheries amendment act, Act 880 of 2014, and for the two amendments to help regulate the fishing industry.
She made this known while speaking at the 31st edition of the National Farmers Day celebration on the theme, “Transform Ghana, Invest in Agriculture” in Bolgatanga in the upper East Region.
She said for the country to achieve the sustainable management of her fishery resources, it was incumbent on all stakeholders to help to protect the sector as the livelihoods of more than 2.4 million people depended on that sector.
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture said fish capture, processing, marketing and associated services constituted a significant source of livelihood, with the sector generating over US$1billion each year and accounting for at least 4.5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
She explained that with dwindling catches in the traditional way of fishing, aquaculture provided an alternative to fish production and offered economic opportunities, adding that her outfit had initiated programmes in that direction to help enhance and sustain fish production.
More than 126 million fingerlings, she said were produced this year, out of a target of 150 million, which boosted aquaculture production from 38,547metric tonnes in 2014 to 46,250 metric tonnes in 2015, an increase of 20 per cent.
The Minister added that this helped to reduce fish imports from 145,910.3 metric tonnes in 2014 to 102,874.95 metric tonnes in 2015.
According to her, the zonation of the Volta Lake into feasible aquaculture production areas was 65 per cent complete which would help attract private sector investment.