“Intensify efforts to save declining fish stocks”


Professor Denis Aheto (box) addressing participants during the training on fisheries management

Fisheries scientist Professor Denis Aheto observed that declining fish stocks in the country’s waters can increase social vices which in turn can lead to insecurity in the country.

He said that although the country’s waters are endowed with valuable fish stocks, recent low catches severely affected more than 2.2 million people, including 135,000 fishermen and women, who depended on the sector for their livelihoods.

Professor Aheto, director of the Center for Coastal Management at the University of Cape Coast (CCM-UCC), made the statement during a training program on fisheries management for selected journalists in Okyereko, near Winneba, in the central region.

He said the country’s coastal areas continued to be threatened by human-made factors such as sand extraction, pollution and natural factors such as climate change which were also affecting the marine sector on a scale. global.

Professor Aheto therefore called on all stakeholders, including fishermen, government, academia and civil society organizations, to collaborate in the management of the country’s fishery resources on the basis of scientific evidence and the protection and the maintenance of the fishing industry.

Protein requirements

The workshop was organized by CCM-UCC in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Nature Today Ghana, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The director of the Center for Coastal Management said the marine sector plays an important role in reducing poverty and providing livelihoods and income for fishermen, as well as meeting the protein needs of families.

The fishing sector currently employs around 10 percent of the country’s population and contributes around 60 percent of the population’s animal protein intake.

“Our aim has always been to focus only on food security, but the situation also presents general security concerns,” he said, adding that those who were losing their livelihoods could engage in other activities that could pose a threat to the security of the nation.

He also explained that the country’s fishery resources are currently negatively affected by temperature, plastic waste and residues from oil production.

Sustainable Development Goal 14 embraces the goal of conservation and sustainable use of the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources.

some participants in the fisheries management program

Partnership

Prof Aheto said CCM-UCC has partnered with USAID to implement a five-year project to help manage the fisheries sector.

As part of the project, he said, a number of activities were being undertaken, including extensive research and training of scientists and fisheries professionals.

UCC Vice-Chancellor Professor Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh said the university, located along the coast, recognizes the invaluable role of scientific research in the sustainable management of marine and coastal resources.

She said the current state of the fisheries sector requires concerted efforts to develop it so that it can continue to play its role of food and nutrition security.

A lecturer at CCM-UCC, Dr George Dapaah, called on the government to reduce subsidies on premixed fuel and instead use the funding to develop landing beaches as a way to improve fishing communities.

“Because input subsidies encourage overexploitation of marine and coastal resources, as they encourage increased fishing efforts and thus worsen the situation of overfishing,” he said.

Dr Dapaah also urged the government to pay more attention to the aquaculture sector as it has a lot of potential.

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