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Business News of Monday, 30 July 2018


6 million fishes lost to poaching annually – Deputy Fisheries Minister

Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe play videoDeputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe

Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe, has disclosed that about 6 million fishes are lost to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing yearly.

According to him, the weak monitoring of marine activities has resulted in overfishing, leading to the decline in the fisheries’ stock.

He made this known during the launch of the PESCAO project for improved fisheries governance in West Africa, at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra.

“In terms of IUU, there are some estimates that I have seen that suggests that we are losing over 600 million annually to fish that is taken from our seas due to IUU. We have allowed, over the years, for our fishes to be overfished,” he said.

He added that the implementation of the closed season is meant to improve the livelihood of over 3 million Ghanaians within the sector.

“So, if we are able to put proper programmes in place, we can still reap massive benefits from our fisheries. But we can begin that by ensuring that our resource which is currently under decline is replenished. We want to rebuild the fisheries stock to save the livelihood of over 3 million of our people who depend on the fisheries and also to ensure that we have full security for ourselves,” he added.

Delivering his remarks at the project launch, General Secretary of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), Serpahin Dedi bemoaned the influx of poaching of fishes within the West African region.

“One of the challenges facing us in the West African region is the high incident of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and its associated trade in illicit drugs. Foreign vessels are not only poaching our fish but also using our waters as transit routes for their trade in hard drugs,” he lamented.

The PESCAO project is being funded by the European Union Commission to improve governance in fisheries management in West Africa. The project is made up of three components – coordination among institutions, monetary control of systems to combat illegal fisheries and the assessment of marine resources for better management in the region.