A 13-member delegation from the United States House of Representatives, House Committee on Natural Resources has held deliberations with the leadership of the National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG) on prevailing issues in Ghana’s fisheries sector.
The delegation was led by Rep. Raul Grijalva, Committee Chairman, and joined by Virginia Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana.
A statement which was signed by Mr Richester Nii Amarh Amarfio, NAFAG Secretary and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema stated that the two entities also held extensive discussions with the delegation on key sector issues, challenges and areas of additional cooperation.
It said they were in the country from September 10 to 13, 2022.
The deliberations, according to NAFAG touched on issues relating to ocean governance, nature conservation, and particularly on how to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF).
Key among the issues of discussion were the restoration of lost fisheries habitat, the impact of mining in water bodies of fisheries and food security, the menace of IUUF.
Others focused on maritime security including in water bodies of fisheries and food security, maritime crimes, excess fishing vessel capacity and the concomitant challenge of teaming unemployed/semi-employed youth within the fishing industry in Ghana.
The statement said NAFAG, led by its Acting President, Mr Simon Agah, and the visiting delegation and the Ghanaian industry players concluded on the need to work on all aspects of the fishing industry, which include social, economic, scientific and planning aspects to ensure that life is returned to the sector.
To get first-hand information on Ghana’s entire industrial fishing value chain, the delegation toured the Tema canoe landing beach, anchovies drying site, fish smoking centre, as well as the fishing harbour, where they observed inshore (semi-industrial vessels), trawl vessels and tuna vessels.
According to the statement, Mr Kwabena Frimpong, the Fishing Harbour Manager, called for greater collaboration to deliver effective Port-State measures against IUUF and other maritime crimes.
The US Ambassador, on her part, said they were supporting Ghana with two patrol boats to fight piracy and IUUF amongst others.
The National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG), is the umbrella body of all the fisheries sector associations, made up of Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council, Ghana Inland Fisheries Council, Ghana Inshore Fisheries Association, Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association and the Ghana Tuna Association.
By Laudia Sawer