Workshop to make input into Proposed Draft Policy on SSF held

The International Collective in Support of Fish workers (ICSF), a non-governmental organisation, yesterday organised a workshop to enable participants make input into a Proposed Draft Policy on Small Scales Fisheries (SSF) in Accra.

The workshop was attended by 30 participants drawn from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the fishing industry, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), Fisheries Commission (FC), and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

During the discussions, many issues and challenges the SSF faced in their communities, including inadequate focus on climate change monitoring and disaster preparedness and inadequate support for women, were raised.

Others were lack of secured tenure rights to fishery resources, lack of accurate and timely disaggregated data, lack of well-defined policy on employment and decent work standards and inadequate funding.

Elaborating some of the issues, a member of ICSF, Mr Peter Linford Adjei, stated that there was the need for a policy to be drafted for SSF in order to address most of the challenges mentioned.

“Looking at issues of climate change, we are suggesting a closer coordination with stakeholders, including the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for a more proactive disaster risk management and post-disaster rehabilitation.

“There should also be programmes of education for both marine and inland fishing communities on disaster preparedness and management as this would reduce SSF communities from their vulnerability to the negative impact of climate change,” he explained.

Mr Adjei noted that lack of secure tenure rights to fishery resources caused most of their lands to be used for project activities, making fishing communities and workers susceptible to arbitrary eviction, restriction, land grabbing and other forms of abuse by powerful public and private sector interests.

“In order to ensure that SSF communities have legitimate tenure rights to aquatic resources and land, they have to be involved in participatory monitoring and evaluation of tenure rights and governance on an ongoing basis with laid-down indicators of progress,” he said.

Touching on inadequate support for women, Mr Adjei suggested the expansion of capacity development across the entire sector, including education and training in improved processing, storage, packaging, transport and marketing, as well as the provision of market infrastructures.

The Director Research, Statistics and Information Management, MoFAD, Mr Ishmael Nii Adjei Browne, opined that SSF played significant role in supporting livelihoods and poverty alleviation in the country, yet it was threatened by challenges that confronted its growth.

He, therefore, assured that the Ministry was working assiduously to curb these with the focus on helping to develop polices and strategies for effective management of the fisheries measures for sustainable growth.

“The Ministry is in full support of the implementation of the SSF guidelines because its overall goal is to enhance the net returns through cost reduction approaches and improvements in the quality of landings,” he said.


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