Int’l workshop on tuna opens in Accra

Ms Sherry Ayittey(left)interacting with some participants after the workshop. With them is Mr Samuel Quaartey Director of FC.A two-day international workshop on Tuna Harvest Strategy and Principles of Sound Fisheries management, for experts from Atlantic Ocean States, was opened in Accra, yesterday.

The event was jointly organised by the World Wide Fund, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), with the support from the Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Development (MOFAD).

The occasion coincided with the launch of a project, Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction project (ABNJ)

The workshop aimed to create a better understanding among Atlantic Ocean States of the precautionary approach, harvest management strategies and evaluation for sustainable tuna fisheries.

The meeting was to accelerate the development of tuna harvest strategies within the Atlantic Ocean, by creating a unique agenda to consider key elements of fisheries management relevant to International Commission for the conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) members.

Opening the workshop, Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, said the workshop was part of the sustainable management of tuna fisheries and biodiversity conservation.

She said the event would create a better understanding among Atlantic Ocean states on strategies and approaches of sustainable tuna fisheries and its management.

The minister said Parliament had given approval for Ghana’s accession to the United Nations (UN) Fish Stocks Management..

According to Ms Ayittey, the UN Fish stocks agreement has the objective of ensuring that each country that harvested tuna resources applied sound conservation measures developed cooperatively through regional fisheries management organisations.

She noted that Ghana was currently, the chair of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna, and also chair of the fishery committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), responsible for sustainable fisheries management in West Africa.

Ms Ayittey said Ghana was the leading tuna fishing nation in the African Atlantic  region and second only to the European Union in the Atlantic Ocean, adding that tuna resources provide the backbone of Ghana’s fish cannery  industry.

“The fisheries sector generates more than one billion US dollars in revenue each year and accounts for at least 4.5 per cent to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides livelihood to an estimated 2.4 million people and 10 per cent of the population who are employed directly or  indirectly.”

By Daniel Amoo

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