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Business News of Thursday, 1 May 2008

Source: GNA

Fishing industry losing over 12 billion cedis annually

The fishing industry loses 12 to 15 million Ghana cedis revenue annually because of lack of interest in developing inland fishing.

A statement issued by the National Inland Canoe Fisherman Council (NICFC) in Accra on Wednesday called on the Ministry of Fisheries and financial institutions to therefore help develop the sector. It said an estimated 95 per cent of the fish consumed in the country were imported at an annual cost of 250 million dollars, thus investment in the Volta Lake alone could result in huge economic benefit.

The statement said this was revealed through a research and sensitisation programmes undertaken by the Council and the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) in fishing communities along the Volta Lake.

The fishermen, it said, have proposed the setting up of a five to ten year plan to revive fishing along the Lake and more investment in inland fishing, since the impact of pond fishing was little. Mr Samson Mahu, General Secretary of the NICFC expressed regret that despite various interventions to draw attention on benefits of inland fishing, little had been done to tap the potential. He said fishing in the Lake across the Northern, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Volta regions had almost collapsed.

Mr Kofi Kukubor, Consultant for NICFC said the investment was necessary to create wealth in rural communities, minimise rural-urban drift and address child labour prevalent in those communities along the Volta Lake.

Mr Mayor Agbleze, a cage fishing expert, said the country had enough expertise to undertake modern fishing and called on the sector Ministry to adopt policies to improve the industry.