The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mr. Nayon Bilijo, has stressed Ghana’s commitment in combating illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) activities in fishing.
The Minister gave the assurance at the just-ended global fisheries confab in Thessaloniki, Greece, under the theme; “Global Fishing Capacity – Less Is More,” organized for key stakeholders and NGOs in the fisheries sector from all parts of the world.
The European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ms. Maria Damanaki, chaired the meeting which had in attendance, the Minister of Natural Resources from Seychelles; Minister of Fisheries from Mauritania; Minister of Fisheries & Aquaculture Development from Ghana and the Minister of Food & Fisheries Development from the Netherlands.
Also present were the Deputy Ministers of Fisheries from Morocco, Lithuania, Philippines and Greece, all of who delivered speeches.
Ghana, the Minister stated, was revisiting all its management plans and legal frameworks to make sure that the country was seen as one of the leaders on the African continent in the global fishing and tuna world. Mr. Bilijo added, “Ghana has been well received and made progressive strides as one of the countries in West Africa with the largest fleet of vessels.”
He emphasized that “less could be more” if Ghana focused more on aquaculture and farmed more fish saying, “Ghana is blessed with lakes”. He therefore, extended invitation to potential investors to consider Ghana in fish farming as he claimed “the country has a major deficit in fish production and consumption.”
The Minister from Seychelles expressed similar sentiments, stressing that his country was also looking into “mariculture” as an alternative to replenish her fish stock.
There was a consensus among the participants to find a way to minimize the over-capacity and over-fishing due to the use of current technologies and sizes of vessels, which he said had made catching a lot of fishes easier than before.