Profitability of Small-Scale Fisheries in Elmina, Ghana
In order to achieve sustainable fishing livelihoods in coastal communities, data
on profitability of small-scale fisheries relative to fish species hauled and gear types used by fishermen is required as part of a broader fisheries management strategy. This study was undertaken with this in mind. Interviews were conducted among 60 fishermen between February and March 2010. Economic assessment of small-scale fishing activities were done using questionnaires based on direct market pricing and contingent valuation methods. The results indicate that highly profitable fish species include Epinephelus aeneus, Sparus caeruleostictus, Dentex angolensis and Lutjanus goreensis valued at US$2.97, US$2.87, US$2.85 and US$2.63 per kilogram respectively. The less profitable species include Dasyatis margarita, Caranx crysos and Sardinella aurita valued at US$0.34, US$0.66 and US$ 0.85 per kilogram respectively. Although Sardinella aurita was among the less valuable fish species, it was the main species driving profits for the fishermen due to its high share volume among the fish catches. Findings from this study suggest high rates of exploitation, in that stocks generally cannot provide for increased economic return in the face of increased investment. This is a clear indicator that the open-access nature of Ghanaian fisheries is not sustainable, and management reform is well overdue.