We should be producing 1m metric tonnes of fish – Elizabeth Quaye
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister designate, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye has admitted that the country is under producing with regard to fish and one of her targets when she is approved is to ensure that the country increases its production to about 1m metric tonnes.
The move, she said would help reduce the fish import which the country is estimated to spend close to US$200million annually.
“We have a huge fish production deficit. We produce about 440,000metric tonnes of fish annually, we should be producing about 1million metric tonnes.” She told members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
Currently, only 400,000 metric tonnes is supplied from the country’s catches at sea and through aquaculture production, with the rest bridged by imports at a cost of US$200million every year.
Some dealers in the fish business are concerned that pair-trawling and other illegal fishing activities, as well as the current energy supply challenges, have had a significant toll on the country’s ability to meet fish demands.
She also indicated that production in aquaculture will be increased from 50,000metric tonnes to 100,000metric tonnes.
According to her, there will be the establishment of an inter-sectorial committee comprising the Ministry and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to ensure safety of the fish imported.
“We will ensure that the fish that is imported is inspected at our harbours”.
Domestic fish consumption has soared by about 10 percent within a year to further widen the gap between local fish production and consumption.
More to follow…