Following the threat of dwindling fish stock in Ghana, the country is expected to take hold of an advanced research vessel known as the “Dr. Fridtjof Nansen vessel” to probe the country’s water bodies with regards to finding the amount of fish and species in them.
According to the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, the vessel will dock in the country on September 13, 2017, and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will inaugurate it the following day.
[contextly_sidebar id=”oM6JyFFyt2qAl3nbvvTXiisFQpDOwBoD”]“On 13th of September, we will be receiving Dr. Fridtjof Nansen research vessel, the biggest research vessel so far. This year in March, we were in Norway to do the naming ceremony of the Dr. Fridtjof Nansen vessel. The president of Ghana will be welcoming the vessel in Ghana on 14th of September,” she added on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday.
Ghana, which consumes over 950,000 metric tons of fish annually, currently imports over 60 percent of its fish.
In 2016, the country imported $135 million worth of fish because of a reduction of fishes in the sea and other water bodies.
“We have a deficit of over 60% of production of fish in Ghana. So we import over 600,000 metric tonnes of fish and we produce less than 400,000. At the moment we have our stocks depleting steadily and we really have to do something quickly about it else we lose our stocks entirely,” she added and assured that her outfit is doing everything possible to reverse the trend.
“What the Ministry of Fisheries is doing at the moment is that, we are trying as much as we can to stop illegal fishing because this is the main contributor to the depletion of our stocks.”
On the Dr. Fridtjof Nansen research vessel, the Minister said the crew will be “researching into the pelagic stock with the aim of establishing how much fish we have within the pelagic source.”
“When I talk about the pelagic stock, it is the species of fish that are found at the surface of the sea and mid sea level; we want to know how much fish we have down there,” Afoley Quaye added.
Ghanains consume too much fish
The Fisheries Alliance had noted that, fish consumption in Ghana per capita is about double the world average.
According to the Alliance, Ghanaians consume between 25 and 27 kg per capita whilst the world average is around 11 to 13 kg per capita.
FAO to provide solutions with survey
The Technical Adviser at the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in Ghana, Kwasi Koranteng, had also assured of providing some findings to help the Fisheries Ministry resolve the fish deficit.
“A survey of this nature helps us to know the status of the ratio and then that will enable the [Fisheries] ministry to work out how much of this resource can be taken so that we don’t jeopardize the ability of the stock to regenerate itself,” he added.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana