Fishermen from Shama have won a regional regatta race organized for Artisanal Fishers in the Western Region at Ngyeresia as part of activities marking the seventh anniversary of the organization of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).
The event was also part of the celebration of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022).
The Shama fishermen beat six fishing groups from New Takoradi, Nkotompo, Poase and Ngyeresia in the competition, which was fiercely contested to emerge victorious.
All participating groups received a cash prize.
The competition was organized by the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council (GNCFC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) through the Fisheries Commission (FC).
It was supported by Hen Mpoano through the Improving Fisheries Governance IFG) project, being funded by Oceans Five and the Oak Foundation, aimed at creating awareness about the IYAFA.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture to celebrate the diversity of artisanal fisheries, show their contributions to achieving the SDGs and build and strengthen partnerships at all levels.
Mrs Hawa Koomson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, in a speech read on her behalf by Mr Prince Adjah, a Deputy Director in charge of Finance and Administration, noted that Ghana’s fisheries resources were being overexploited.
In that regard, she said the Ministry was pursuing long-term measures to protect the fisheries resource, ensure its recovery and accelerate growth in the aquaculture subsector as well.
To ensure optimum utilization of the fisheries resource, the Minister reiterated that this year’s closed season would be observed in July.
She announced that plans were far advanced for the government to procure research vessels and patrol boats to heighten efforts to control the open access exploitation of the fisheries resource.
Mr Michael Abakah Adu, Western Regional Secretary of the GNCFC, commended the United Nations for declaring 2022 as the year of artisanal fisheries and for recognizing the immense contribution of artisanal fishers.
He also lauded the Fisheries Minister for the measures being undertaken in the sector but called for effective collaboration with all relevant stakeholders to ensure sustainable management of the fisheries resource.