Business News of 2014-05-13

Japan to help develop fisheries sector

The Japanese government has expressed its preparedness to partner Ghana to deal with challenges confronting its fisheries sector.

The support, which is expected to come in the form of equipment delivery and technical support, would empower Ghana to address the issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in its waters.

The Japanese Ambassador, Mr Naoto Nikai, made this known when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mr Nayon Bilijo, in Accra.

The rationale behind the meeting was for the two countries to discuss possible ways of teaming up to address problems threatening the growth of the fisheries sector in Ghana.

Japan, Ghana relationship

Mr Nikai said over the years, the mutual relationship between Japan and Ghana had strengthened the two countries to work together to support their development.

According to him, Japan will continue to extend its support and assistance to ensure that Ghana attains its development goals.

Mr Nikai, therefore, called on Mr Bilijo to approach the Japanese Embassy for any support the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture might need in their quest to enhance the sector.

Fisheries college

Mr Bilijo said as part of the government’s commitment to develop the fisheries sector, plans were far advanced for the establishment of a fisheries college at Anomabo in the Central Region.

“The college, which will be under the University of Cape Coast, will focus on training and educating students on the effective ways of protecting the country’s fisheries sector,” he said.

According to Mr Bilijo, his ministry is planning to acquire the necessary equipment that will facilitate the training of the students.

“We will, therefore, need the experience and support of the Japanese government in terms of equipment to enhance teaching and learning at the college,” he added.

Impact of the fisheries sector

Mr Bilijo said since 10 per cent of the country’s population was engaged in the fisheries sector, there was the need for stakeholders to come on board to partner the ministry in addressing the challenges confronting the sector.

He mentioned that IUU fishing in Ghana’s waters was a major challenge that hindered the growth of the fisheries sector.

The minister stressed that the problem of IUU, if not properly dealt with, could spell doom for the country.