About half of Ghana’s fish landing sites across the coast are under threat, Friends of the Nation (FoN), a non-governmental organisation has said.
According to them, most of the fishing communities were losing their source of livelihoods to the increasing takeover of the shorelines for residential and commercial facilities to the detriment of fishing.
The Programmes Manager of FoN, Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah said this at a day’s national multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on securing fish landing sites in Accra.
The policy dialogue aimed at engaging policy makers, stakeholders on fish landing sites securing Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) and Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries (SSF) guidelines to promote impactful policy development planning.
It is also to improve policy formulation and implementation to promote responsible governance of tenure, sustainable, social and economic development and help eradicate poverty and encourage responsible investment in the fisheries sector.
VGGT is an international instrument that can be used by many different actors to improve the governance of tenure of land fisheries and forests.
According to Mr Yamoah landing sites were important in the fishing industry as fishermen would need to land their canoes and fish as well as process it.
He said it was therefore necessary to secure landing sites for the fishermen as “they are one of the most important elements that support the fishing industry.”
In order to ensure the security of fish landing sites across the country, Mr Yamoah said, his outfit was collating recommendations and roadmaps that would help them streamline the securing of fish landing sites and ensure that they were properly demarcated and documented as well as legally approved for fishing communities.
“This will ensure that investors and developmental agencies would not come and take over landing sites in the near future,” he added.
Mr Yamoah said his outfit and its partners through the application of the VGGT principles were securing fish landing sites in five pilot communities namely Kedzikope, Abutiakope, and Whuti in the Volta Region, Anomabo in the Central Region and Abuesi in the Western Region.
These landing sites, he said were being secured under the ‘Far Ban Bo’ (FBB) project which is a four-year European Union- funded fisheries governance project being implemented in Ghana from 2017 to 2020.
He said the purpose of securing the landing sites was to contribute towards protecting and improving the livelihoods of smallholder fishers and other users of fishery resources through providing social and economic safeguards.
The Executive Director of FoN, Mr Donkris Mevuta said community and stakeholder consultations were held to inform the fishermen on the objective and purpose of securing their interest in securing landing sites.
He also mentioned that negotiation, boundary setting, field mapping, documentation and registration with the relevant public institutions and traditional authorities were done to ensure they were approved.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU & GLORIA NSIAH MINTAH