Securing sustainable fisheries

Securing sustainable fisheries

Ensuring sustainability and social equity in Ghana’s fisheries

Illegal fishing is devastating our oceans and West Africa is at the heart of this crisis. Around 37% of all fish caught in the region is done so illegally. Ghana is reliant on the fishing industry. It brings over US$1 billion into the country every year and employs over 2.5 million people.

As industrial vessels pillage Ghana’s coastline of vital fish stocks, it is the country’s small-scale fishing communities who are paying the price. Now, faced with declining incomes and food insecurity, many of these fishers are being driven to engage in illegal activities themselves.

Securing sustainability and social equity

Since January 2017, EJF has been proud to have the support of the EU delegation in Accra, Ghana, which is now aiding a three-year project to secure sustainable fisheries in the country. As part of the this project EJF is working to help drive a reduction in illegal fishing, and give local fishers a voice in process to build a more sustainable fishing sector:

  • EJF uses our unique combination of local surveillance and remote monitoring to strengthen the monitoring and reporting of illegal fishing, empowering local communities to document illicit fishing activities and improve the sustainability of Ghana’s fisheries.

  • EJF empowers small-scale fishers, vulnerable and marginalised groups to articulate their interest in fisheries reforms and implement fisheries co-management.

  • EJF is promoting alternative livelihood options for small-scale fishing communities, helping to diversify local economies and to reduce dependence on fishing.

This is our livelihood - since we were born - and we have nowhere to go…. We need help, we are going out of business and we are dying.

Joseph Prah, Chairman of the Elmina Boat Owners Association, Ghana

Working with local fishing communities

Since 2017, EJF has worked work with local partner Hen Mpoano to improve the lives of fishers and promote food security across Ghana. We’ve worked with almost 60 communities across the 10 districts in Ghana’s Central Region and in the Volta Estuary in a bid to safeguard marine resources for current and future generations of local fishers.

We empower local communities to take a stand against illegal fishing activities, providing the much needed evidence for the government to take action against these illicit practices; train local fishers to understand and protect their rights in fisheries management; promote the fair allocation of tenure rights to protect fishers’ landing sites from the encroachment of tourism and other industrial activities; and identify and promote alternative livelihoods to help broaden fisher communities’ economic basis and support the long term sustainability of Ghana’s fish stocks.

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