The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, will develop a co-management plan for the management of the fisheries resources in the Black Volta Basin.
Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, disclosed this on the floor of Parliament in her response to a question by Mr Anthony Mwinkaara Sumah, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli-Kaleo.
The MP asked the Minister what plans were in place to deal with challenges confronting fishermen in the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency such as the use of illegitimate fishing gears by fishermen from neighbouring countries and difficulty in obtaining fishing nets due to high cost.
The rest are dilapidated reservoirs and hatcheries and the lack of adequate knowledge on laws and regulations on inland water bodies.
Concerning the use of illegitimate fishing gears from fishermen from neighbouring countries, Madam Koomson noted that the Black Volta River was bordered by six neighbouring countries namely Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Mali and Togo.
She said the Government of Ghana through the Fisheries Commission in the Upper West Region was collaborating with the countries to address use of illegal fishing gears.
She said a multi-stakeholder sensitization meeting has been held in Zambo, Lawra Municipality between researchers, media, fisher folks (fishers and processors) and fisheries officers from both Ghana and Burkina Faso on the use of the illegal fishing gears and its impact on sustainable fishing.
The Minister said a meeting was also held with the Chief Executive of Loba Province at Dano in Burkina Faso, who had assured us of his support in sensitisation programmes and subsequent enforcement of the laws in his jurisdiction.
She said there were engagements with fisherfolks on the Black Volta Basin around the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency and that they would update the House on the outcomes.
On difficulties in obtaining nets due to high cost, the Minister said: “Mr Speaker, the Ministry, as part of encouraging the use of the appropriate gears at affordable prices, has been producing nets for distribution to fishers.
“The applications from fishers are routed through fisheries associations and endorsed by their Metropolitan, Municipal or District Assemblies (MMDAs).”
She said the Ministry currently was out of stock of the nets; saying “When we procure, we would alert the MP, so that he can inform his constituents”.
With regards to dilapidated reservoirs on hatchery, Madam Koomson said the Fisheries Commission had begun the renovation of hatcheries across the country; adding that the one at Vea was completed.
“Mr Speaker, there is the need to establish co-management systems for all the reservoirs and the Fisheries Commission has begun the process of engaging community leaders, the MMDAs and other stakeholders in communities bordering these reservoirs for such co-management systems to help address the management issues of these reservoirs,” she said.
She said without the co-management systems, it would be unsuccessful to restock or get maximum value from any investment or effort directed to the reservoirs.
With regards to the lack of adequate knowledge on laws and regulations on inland water bodies, Madam Koomson said the Fisheries Commission was undertaking community sensitisation on laws and regulations governing the management of inland water bodies.