Ms. Hanny Sherry Ayittey, Minister in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture on Friday said a major breakthrough had been made in the fisheries industry to expand production and combat illegal, unprotected and unregulated fishing in the country.
To that end, she said the fisheries amendment regulation (LI 2217) 2015 had been reviewed to give meaning to the fisheries amendment act, Act 880 of 2014, and for the two amendments to help regulate the fishing industry.
Ms Ayittey was speaking at the 31st edition of the National Farmers Day celebration in Bolgatanga in the upper East Region. It was celebrated on the theme, “Transform Ghana, Invest in Agriculture”.
She said for the country to achieve the sustainable management of her fishery resources, it was incumbent on all stakeholders to help to protect the sector as the livelihoods of more than 2.4 million people depended on that sector.
She said fish capture, processing, marketing and associated services constituted a significant source of livelihood, with the sector generating over US$1billion each year and accounting for at least 4.5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Ms Ayittey said with dwindling catches in the traditional way of fishing, aquaculture provided an alternative to fish production and offered economic opportunities. Therefore her outfit had initiated programmes in that direction to help enhance and sustain fish production.
She said more than 126 million fingerlings were produced this year, out of a target of 150 million, which boosted aquaculture production from 38,547metric tonnes in 2014 to 46,250 metric tonnes in 2015, an increase of 20 per cent. This helped to reduce fish imports from 145,910.3 metric tonnes in 2014 to 102,874.95 metric tonnes in 2015, the Minister added.
Ms Ayttey indicated that the zonation of the Volta Lake into feasible aquaculture production areas was 65 per cent complete which would help attract private sector investment.