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Protect Water Bodies

2007-11-03 01:32:39
This article has been read 1211 times.

The Northern Regional Director of Fisheries, Mr Thomas Kobina Insaidoo, has called for a deliberate and concerted effort to protect water bodies and their resources to ensure sustainable utilisation of the country’s fish stock.

He said even though the country’s fish requirement was estimated at around 800,000 tonnes per annum, the nation could produce only about 400,000 tonnes annually, adding that, available statistics indicated that Ghana spent about 200 million dollars on fish import every year.

Mr Insaidoo who was addressing a capacity-building workshop on: "Fisheries Protection" for inland fishing communities in Yapei in the Central Gonja District at Yapei, attributed the shortfall in the country’s fish production largely to the use of unauthorised fishing gear and illegal fishing practices.

He noted, however, that the dwindling stocks in the ocean had seriously affected the country’s fish supply, a situation, which he said, called for a pragmatic approach to protect water bodies and their resources, especially, the fish stock.

Some 20 participants comprising the leadership of the various fishing groups at Yapei are attending the two-day forum sponsored by the Ministry of Fisheries to equip them with the requisite knowledge and skills to help protect the fisheries resource.

Mr Insaidoo, who was also a resource person, told the participants that, in view of the importance of fishing to the socio-economic lives of the people, the government established the Ministry and tasked it among other functions, to prepare and review plans for the efficient management and development of fisheries in the country’s water bodies.

He said: "The initiative is also to promote sustainable and viable enterprises in the fisheries sector through research technology development, extension and other services to ensure food security and reduce poverty".

He said the Ministry had also been empowered to formulate fisheries and aquaculture management plans, where provision had been made for co-management schemes and strategies to ensure "biological sustainability and economic efficiency in the management and development and exploitation of the fisheries resource.

The Regional Director noted that the vigorous pursuit of aquaculture had yielded appreciable results, however, another area, which stood to offer beneficial effects to fishery is the area of fisheries protection.

Mr Louis Ayamdoo, an Extension Officer at the Ministry and a resource person, urged people in inland fishing communities to form community-based fisheries management committees to help control the illegal activities of the fishermen to prevent the depletion of the fish stock in the country’s water bodies.

He asked the participants to impart the knowledge and skills that they would acquire at the workshop, to the other members of their community to help enhance fisheries protection.


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