Beachfront development, threat to fishing in Ghana – EU

Business News of Friday, 23 November 2018

Source: GNA

2018-11-23

Some Ghanaian fishermen

Mr. Christopher Ackon, Programmes Officer of the Infrastructure and Sustainable Development (ISD) Section of the European Union (EU), has warned against the haphazard development of beachfronts into resorts, pubs and entertainment joints.

He said what was happening was a real threat to the future of fishing in Ghana.

“The many beach resorts along our beaches are making the beach smaller and smaller for our fishermen.”

“It is important that we protect our livelihoods and our livelihoods include where we do our activities – the landing beaches.”

“If we are not able to do that, then a time will come we will not have beaches for fishing.”

Mr Ackon gave the warning when a delegation from the EU paid a verification visit to some project sites of the “Far Ban Bo” project at Anomabo in the Mfantseman Municipality.

Already, the fisheries sector is bedeviled with challenges of over-fishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.

He underlined the need to focus priority on tenure rights security for landing sites and to institute grievances and disputes resolution mechanisms among industrial, inshore and artisan fishers.

The “Far Ban Bo” project is a four-year sustainable fisheries resources development programme funded by the EU and is being implemented by a consortium of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including Care International, Friends of the Nation (FON) and Oxfam in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission, Fishers Association and Fisheries Alliance.

It seeks to build the capacity of smallholder fishers, to improve their livelihoods and to address the challenges of over-fishing and law compliance.

Mr Ackon said the “Far Ban Bo” project was designed with the goal of managing the fisheries resources for prosperity and called on the project communities to support it so that the expected outcomes would be achieved.

“It is important that as fishermen and beneficiaries of this project, you recognize that your livelihoods depend on the sea, and that is why you should collaborate with the team and all stakeholders to achieve success.”

Mr Roberto Schiliro, Team Leader of the ISD, EU delegation to Ghana, asked the project communities to stay together in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.

“We must strive to leave the sea better for the future.”

He said overcoming the challenges confronting fishing in the country would require strong commitment from the fishermen themselves and their communities.

Mr Schiliro pledged the EU’s continued support for projects meant to protect and restore marine ecosystems, achieve healthy and productive oceans and sustainable management of ocean resources and sustainable fisheries.

Mr Kelly Nelly Essuman, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Mfantseman, spoke of plans to support and protect fisheries resources.

The assembly was also going to closely monitor and prevent physical developments on the beach fronts.

“We will not allow anybody to sell parts of the beach, set up video centres, and establish beach resorts or entertainment joints at the beach.”

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