The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye says Cabinet has approved the Fisheries Co-Management Policy which seeks to enhance the current consultative approach to fisheries management by transitioning from a more top-down consultative management framework to an approach that will promote a shared responsibility among government, resource users and other stakeholders.
Addressing a press briefing in Accra Wednesday, Madam Afoley Quaye said the Co-Management Policy is one of the most effective and efficient strategies for managing resources including fisheries resources through a shared responsibility among government, resource users and other key stakeholders.
It must be noted that, the operationalization of this policy would allow fishermen, the chief fishermen, and the chiefs and elders of the communities to assist government’s officials at the Fisheries Commission (FC) to codify local laws and to enforce the fishing laws, especially within the fishing communities.
The District Assemblies would also be engaged to pass some by-laws to help fight the illegalities in the fishing sector as well as protect the fisheries resources like mangroves, estuaries, closed seasons and fishing holidays.
The Minister further mentioned that, the Canoe Identification Card (CIC) which was launched on December 10, 2019 at Keta is being implemented in the marine artisanal sub-sector to facilitate the identification of canoe owners.
“This will enhance the regulation and access to fisheries resources, provide recognition and legitimacy to canoe owners as well as assist in the provision of Government support,” she said.
On Fisheries Law Enforcement, the Minister said her outfit has intensified observer activities on industrial vessels as part of measures to ensure enforcement and compliance with the Fisheries Laws and Regulations.
She said the number of observer missions in 2019 increased from 335 in 2018 to 550 in 2019. She added that, the Vessel Electronic Monitoring Systems made up of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) continue to operate on all Ghanaian and Foreign Flagged Fishing Vessels.
She said govt has distributed about 500 ahotor ovens to fish processors to augment their trade for the domestic and international markets.