The lack of transparency, accountability and good governance has been identified as contributing to fisheries management challenges in Ghana and the wider Gulf of Guinea.
Prevailing transparency, accountability and governance gaps risk pushing ocean ecosystems towards total collapse, with devasting consequences for the marine environment and the many millions of people who depend on it for food and income.
It is because of this that the Centre for Maritime Law & Security (CEMLAWS), has partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies in its Vibrant Oceans Initiative, for a project dubbed: Enhancing Transparency in the Fisheries Sector.
The program officially launched via a virtual conference meeting with stakeholders on Wednesday March 23, 2022.
The project, expected to last for two (2) years will span four countries namely Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, and Senegal.
A Senior Research Officer, at CEMLAWS, Dr. Rebecca Essamuah, explained that “there are a lot of times these stakeholder meetings have been had over and over again. We want to find out what extra can be done to tie these together so we can establish who the gatekeepers are, who are the opinion leaders through which important information could be sent through to get to the main users of the resource. All of this is to drive sustainable fisheries. This particular project will tie some of these efforts together in the four countries.”
A Fisheries Scientist at CEMLAWS, Gabriel Gator, added that “we will start with stakeholder engagements, roundtable discussions, to surveys to interviews where we seek stakeholder opinion on issues of transparency, and we merge everything together and share our recommendations with policy makers.”
Secretary of the Ghana Tuna Association, Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio made some recommendations that will enhance the fisheries sector.
He said, “we need to align resources to the stock. In Morocco for instance, their close season structure is properly planned. We have to look at the upstream activity, so that when I do three months fishing, within the next three months there are proper storage facilities so I can be able to market my fish and stay in business.”
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Mavis Hawa Koomson, acknowledged the contribution of Civil Society Organisations in supporting the transformation of Ghana’s fisheries sector.