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Fisheries Management

Achieving sustainable fisheries management: A critical look at traditional fisheries management in the marine artisanal fisheries of Ghana, West Africa


Sustaining fishery resources is crucial to the survival and wealth of artisanal fishers in Ghana. The artisanal fisheries sector of Ghana provides food, employment, livelihood support and socio-economic benefits to the Ghanaian economy. Fishery resources of Ghana are under stress from population pressure, increasing demand of fish and fishery products and open-access regime. Formal fisheries management practices have not yielded the desired results. There is an increasing need for traditional fisheries practices to be incorporated into formal fisheries management practices. The aim of this paper is to conduct an in-depth study on traditional marine fisheries management systems in Ghana in order to provide information to enhance the management of the artisanal fisheries. Data was collected through document analysis (between May 2014 and January 2015), field observation and questionnaire-based interview (between 26th and 30th of July 2014). Results show that the Chief Fisherman and Community Based Fisheries Management Committee are important structures in the fisheries management system of Ghana. The Chief Fisherman is the person that leads resolution of disputes and gives access to fishing in the communities. There are a number of measures such as non-fishing days, ban on landing certain fish species during festival periods to prevent overfishing. Taboos and cultural practices such as performing of rituals to ‘sea gods’ and consulting of oracles during certain periods of the year help to manage the fish stocks. With respect to the performance of the fishing communities, Elmina performed better with combination of various traditional practices to prevent overfishing. Fishers in Elmina also had adequate knowledge of current fishing rules and regulations than fishers in Adina, Chorkor and Dixcove. Fishers and fishing communities must be educated on the need to avoid unapproved fishing practices to help keep the fishery resources healthy for sustainable exploitation. Fishers should also be equipped with alternative livelihood jobs in order to reduce the pressure on the fishery resources. A national policy to integrate traditional management practices into formal fisheries management plans should be established.

 

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Name of Author(s):
F. K. E. Nunoo1*, Berchie Asiedu2, Jessica Olauson3, George Intsiful2
Institutional Affiliation:
1Department of Marine & Fisheries Sciences, University of Ghana; 2Department of Fisheries & Water Resources, University of Energy & Natural Resources; 3Swedish Board of Fisheries, Göteborg, Sweden.
Type of Publication:
Journal Article
Name of Publisher or Journal:
Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Management
Date of Publication:
2015
Number of Pages:
8