Optimisation Of Profit In The Artisanal Marine Fishing: A Case Study Of Sekondi Fishing Harbour
The importance of the fisheries sector in the socio-economic development of Ghana cannot be over-emphasised. With a marine coastline of five hundred and fifty (550) kilometres stretching from Aflao in the East to Half Assini in the West, the fishing industry plays a major role in sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction in several households and communities. The sector is estimated to contribute about 3.9 per cent of the nation‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and eleven (11) percent of the Agriculture GDP (GSS, 2008 Budget). For a long time, fish has remained the preferred and cheapest source of animal protein with about seventy five (75) per cent of total annual production being consumed locally. In Ghana the average per capita fish consumption is said to be around 20-25kg, which is higher than the world average of 13kg. Importantly, as much as 60 per cent of animal protein in the Ghanaian diet country- wide is thought to be from fish, which accounts for 22.4 per cent of household food expenditures. As noted in an address by the Minister for Fisheries at the 2007 ‗Meet the Press1‘Series, held on August 28th 2007, ―…the Country has fish production potential that is latent. We have good soil and a large expanse of water bodies, a resource, which needs to be harnessed to the optimum. In fact, ten (10) per cent of the entire land surface of Ghana is covered by water. Also in terms of human capacity, we also have a fairly good stock of expertise and know how in the Country. The economy of Ghana is basically agricultural. In other words, the agricultural sector dominates the economy. Ghana like other less developed countries produces and exports raw materials and mostly imports finished goods from the industrialised countries. Export commodities include cocoa, gold and timber, which are referred to as traditional exports. Other exports include non-traditional export such as pineapples, yam, sheanuts, banana, salt, etc. Ghana was the world‘s leading producer and exporter of cocoa since the turn of the century up to 1978. Ghana is now in the third position after La Cote D’ lvoire and Brazil. The economy of Ghana, for that matter, is referred to as a mono-cultural economy. This means that the economy relies on the exportation of raw and semi-processed materials only. Thus, the importance of agricultural sector cannot be over emphasized.