Ghanaians Consume 1m Tonnes Of Fish Annually

Ms. Sherry Ayittey (4)Ghana’s fish consumption has hit one million metric tonnes annually, of which only 400,000 metric tonnes is being supplied from the country’s catches at sea and through aquaculture production.

The country is currently importing 600,000 metric tonnes to fill the gap at an estimated cost of 200 million dollars annually, Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu, Deputy Director of the Fisheries Commission disclosed this to The Ghanaian Times yesterday.

He attributed this to the growing population, and the depletion of fish stocks in the ocean through unregulated fishing.

The Deputy Dircetor noted that per capita consumption of fish in the country is 15 kilogrammes.

He said there were 140 registered industrial vessels and 12,000 registered artisanal canoe operators involved in fishing in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), adding that aquaculture production only supplies 20,000 metric tonnes of fish annually.

Mr Baidoo-Tsibu, who is in charge of the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Division of the Fisheries Enforcement Unit at Tema, stressed the need for effective management of the EEZ, through enforcement of the laws for sustainable fishing.

“We must manage the marine resources in a scientific manner, such that we can take what we need from the sea so that we do not deplete the fish resources,” he said.

Mr. Baidoo-Tsibu said, Ghana was bound by the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea governing the effective management of the marine resources for the benefit of all countries.

Mr Baidoo-Tsibu said the monitoring, control and surveillance software equipment was able to check vessel and other artisanal fishing activities in the EEZ, to put a stop to illegal fishing activities, threatening the sustainable management of the country’s fish resources.

The government, through the Fisheries Commission, has set up a task force in compliance with the Fisheries Act to enforce the fisheries regulations to prevent illegal and unregulated fishing in the country’s EEZ for effective management of the marine resources.

The enforcement task force has been on the warpath against artisanal fisherfolks who use unapproved fishing gears.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

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