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Opinions of Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Columnist: Louisa Berlinda Kpornyoh

Low catch at sea threatening livelihoods

Many people who depend on fishing as their main source of income in Ghana face the danger of losing their livelihood due to low catch.

A visit to some coastal communities in the Western, Central, Greater Accra and Volta regions revealed that many fishermen are abandoning their canoes as a result of a steep decline in catch.

According to some fisher folks in these communities, illegal fishing methods such as light–fishing and pair trawling is a major contributing factor to the depletion of fish at sea.

Interestingly, most of them (fisher folks) placed the blame at the doorstep of politicians for not showing enough commitment to protect the countries finishing industry.

Adugba Hornyo a fishmonger in Keta Abutia Kope beach in the Volta Region, alleged that the some political leaders ahead of the 2016 elections campaign came to them with the promise that light-fishing; an illegal fishing method where light is used to attract fish, would be legalized if they are voted for.

She further lamented how the fishing business is also controlled and manipulated by politicians, a situation she said is greatly affecting the development of their business.

Corroborating this, a fisher man in Ada, Efo Kordzo placed a distress call to government to come up with drastic interventions to salvage the situation.

The visit to the coastal communities was facilitated by the The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and University of Cape Coast Fisheries under the Coastal Management Capacity Building Support Project.

Mr Aheto Worlanyo, Coordinator of the project, University of Cape Coast Fisheries and Coastal Management explained that the project is a five year capacity building exercise funded by the USAID to devise ways of addressing challenges affecting the fisheries sector in Ghana.

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