Ministry of Fisheries collaborates with Norway to manage challenges

Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA

Accra, Oct. 23, GNA – The Ministry of
Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has partnered the Norwegian Government to
come up with strategies for the sustainable development of aquaculture and
control of problems associated with fisheries in the country.

The partnership would facilitate intense
interactions to share experiences, build capacities and co-operation in all
aspects of fisheries with emphasis on developing tools for their management
under Norway’s “Fish for Development” programme.

The Fish for Development (FfD) programme would
consolidate efforts made by the Sector and place more emphasis on research and
development in fish health to revamp the sector to increase productivity.

Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, the Sector
Minister, said this in a presentation delivered on her behalf at a workshop
organised on the “FfD Programme” in Accra on Tuesday.

She said the Fishery sector was valued at
around one billion dollars and contributed 1.1 per cent to the Agricultural
Gross Domestic Product.

She said currently, 10 per cent of the
population thus 2.7 million, derived their livelihood from fish farming,
processing and through gear and ancillary services.

She noted that Ghana had its fair share of
difficulties in managing her fisheries resources due to a myriad of challenges,
adding that the challenges must be met with more enthusiasm and co-operation
with international organisations.

Mrs Quaye said the Government would thrive to
promote a developed fishery sector before 2023, adding that declines in the Marine
Capture Fisheries needed to be addressed earnestly to bridge the gap in fish
food sufficiency with improved technical support and research.

Current production from aquaculture stands
around 53,000 metric tonnes of Tilapia and Catfish.

The Minister noted that the Ghana National
Aquaculture Development Plan had been developed to enable the country take
advantage of her biophysical and socio-economic environment.

She said strong research capacity and rising
fish prices locally and globally significantly bridged the huge gap between
national fish demand and supply in the medium term.

The overall goal of the Fisheries Sector in
the medium term is to transform it to become a viable economic venture to
attract private capital through accelerated aquaculture development and
sustainable management of fisheries resources.

Dr Edgar Brun, the Head of Epidemiology of the
Norwegian Veterinary Institute, said the biggest hindrances in the development
of the fishery sector were infections and diseases.

He said fish farming was mostly operated in an
open or semi-open systems in Norway, which made it easy to detect disease

Dr Brun advised the Sector to devise
mechanisms to encourage field visits; build diagnostics; prevention,
containment and contingency; and research to promote sustainable fisheries.

“The sector needs to operate aquaculture in an
efficiently and climate friendly way as much as possibly because it will have
higher influence on production and supply of aqua food in the next 10 years due
to how much the population is increasing,” he said.

Mr Oyvind Udland Johansen, the Deputy Head of
Mission, Norwegian Embassy, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the
partnership was not a financial support.

He said the partnership was based on
encouragement of competence and capacity building to enhance resource
management in the fishery sector.

Mr Johansen said they were also prepared to
contribute immensely towards formulation of beneficial rules and regulations in
the fishery sector.

“In Norway, we have been working in the
fisheries and aquaculture sector for many years and so we believe that we have
some experience that some could be valuable for the growth of the Ghanaian
fishery sector,” he said.    


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