Ghana's fishing sector could collapse if government failed to protect it against illegal fishing and poaching, Friends of the Nation (FoN), a local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has warned.Ghana's fisheries sector is said to add about one billion dollars to government revenue annually, and provides livelihood to about 10 per cent of Ghanaians, covering about four million fishers and their dependents.
However, over the years it has experienced a rapid decline, due to illegal application of fishing methods and poaching, as well as lack of political will to enforce the law, FoN's Programmes Manager, Mr Kyei Kwadwo Yamoa told journalists at a news briefing.
He noted that lack of political will on the part of government to enforce the fishing laws that would ensure compliance to curtail application of illegal fishing methods and theft in Ghanaian territorial waters were responsible for the sharp fall in fish stock.
The sector provides about 60 per cent of animal proteins to Ghanaians, Mr Solomon Kusi Ampofo, Communications Co-ordinator of FoN disclosed.
He told the GNA that owing to the illegal activities, "the country loses about $100m annually through the of overuse of unlawful fishing methods and poaching.
'This has allowed rampant illegal and unsustainable fishing practices, including the use of chemicals, light, dynamites and explosives and small mesh size nets.
Nowadays, fishermen spend more time, more energy, more money, and more effort but get less and less fish each day,' he said.
Mr Ampofo said Ghana's fishing governance required the development of a comprehensive fisheries enforcement and compliance strategy, including voluntary compliance and deterrence.
Both short and long-term measures were also required as a foundation to support the implementation of effective compliance and enforcement actions, he added.