European Union funds fisheries project in Accra – Ghana
Recently, the European Union (EU) has decided to fund fisheries project in Ghana. The fund will consequently help to strengthen the agricultural sector and also enhance employment in the community. The Far Ban Bo, a Fante expression, means ‘Protecting fisheries livelihoods’ is a four-year EU-funded fisheries governance project being implemented by a consortium three–CARE (the lead), Friends of the Nation (FoN) and OXFAM– in collaboration with key fishery stakeholders, smallholder fishery associations and Fishery Commission.
European Union Ambassador in Ghana, H.E. William Hanna, has called for stronger collaborative efforts among stakeholders in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
During the launch of the EU-funded fisheries governance project in Accra, Mr. Hanna noted that fisheries resources in West Africa, particularly in countries in the Central West Gulf of Guinea were under increasing pressure from population density, food needs, poverty and irrational methods of exploitation, including IUU fishing. He maintained the stand that all of these is being tackled and should continue ti be tackled.
In addition, he said that the International Community to ratify and implement the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Port State Measures Agreement which will allow coastal nations to deny port entry and services to foreign vessels suspected of illegal fishing. This will no doubt encourage fast development in fisheries activities in Ghana.
The EU Ambassador futher noted that illegal fishing should be outrightly disallowed and that laws against illegal fishing should be enforced with stronger authority:
“They must not be allowed to fish illegally in foreign waters; fish without licenses; engage in transshipment, light fishing, use of undersized mesh, dumping of fish at sea and use of explosives and poison. All these are illegal activities.”
During the launch, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ms Afoley Quaye, pledged the Ministry’s preparedness to empower fishers to play a leading role in the enforcement of the Fisheries Regulation. She also urged all agencies and institutions implementing various fisheries projects to ensure co-ordination in order to avoid the duplication of efforts and to leverage resources for the development of the fisheries industries in Ghana.
Ambassador Elkanah Odembo, Country Director, CARE International, said the project would support the Government of Ghana to meet national development goals, its regional and international fisheries management obligations and the Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14) which aims to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”
Reports confirmed that the project is designed to address the challenges of overfishing and unsustainable fishing, including IUU fishing, low compliance and weak capacity for law enforcement within the sector. Also, the peoject is set to target coastal fishing communities in 30 districts in the Western, CentraL, and Greater Accra Regions, will focus on tenure rights security for fish landing sites and pilot mechanism for grievance and dispute resolution among the fisher groups.
The project coordinators explained at the launch that the overall objective of the project is to contribute to sustainable fisheries management and to improve food security and nutrition, and the livelihood of smallholder fishers and other users of fisheries resources– with emphasis on improved fisheries governance. This will no doubt contribute to agricultural growth and development in the country.