Madam Hawa Koomson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, says the Revised Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy will enhance resilience of fisheries to climate change.
She said the policy, with focus on improving fisheries infrastructure development, fisheries governance and post-harvest management, would consolidate gains made over the years in the sector and asked stakeholders to embrace and implement it.
The Minister said this at a validation workshop on the Revised National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy for key stakeholders.
She noted that there had been significant changes in the fisheries sector at both national and international levels since the first National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy came into effect in 2008.
The Minister said key among the challenges were issues related to climate change, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, gear development, small scale fisheries, gender and youth, co-management, high sea fisheries, as well as, inadequate technology and infrastructure capacity.
She said those challenges necessitated the revision of the policy to provide strategic direction for the development of fisheries and aquaculture in the country.
The revision was also to incorporate relevant emerging issues and address the challenges with the objective of sustaining the sector for national development.
Madam Koomson said key concepts of “Blue Growth, Blue Economy, Child Labour, and Gender and Youth,” had been incorporated in the policy for the sustainability of the sector and expressed appreciation to the Policy Review Technical Team for the “good work.”
The Minister said what was needed now was the successful implementation of the policy to create jobs and grow the local economy and called for the support of all.
The fisheries sector plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of the country.
Ghana’s current fish production stands in the neighbourhood of 400,000 metric tonnes a year from marine fisheries, inland waters and aquaculture.
Close to 10 percent of Ghanaians depend on the fisheries sector for their livelihoods.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, direct fisheries contribution to Ghana’s economy is significant, accounting for 4.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 12 percent of the agriculture GDP.
Export earnings from fish and fish products are a significant source of foreign exchange for the country.