The Ministry of Food and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) has sworn into office a Nine-Member Advisory Board with the task of advising the sector Minister Management of the fisheries industry and policy formulation.
It also has the task of promoting interaction between the Ministry and its service users.
This is a mandatory requirement expected of Ministries under Section 39 of the Civil Service Act, 1993 (PNDCL 327).
The board, chaired by the sector Minister, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson has Mr Moses Anim, Deputy MoFAD; Mr Kwesi Armo-Himbson, Chief Director, MoFAD and Mr Eric Agyeman-Prempeh, Director General, National Disaster Management Organisation (NaDMO) as members.
The rest are; Captain Inusah Abdul Nasir, Director, Ghana Maritime Authority; Mr Edwin Bekoe, Director, Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Mrs Charlotte Antwi, Chief Executive Officer of C-Fast Company Limited; Mrs Ophelia Mensah Hayford, Member of Parliament for Mfantseman and Mr Simon Agah, Acting President, National Fisheries Association of Ghana.
Inaugurating the Advisory Board in Accra on Thursday, Mrs Koomson said the Ministry was implementing a number of policies and projects to transform the fisheries and aquaculture sector to improve its contribution to national development.
Among the policies include; the co-management Policy for the fisheries sector; annual closed seasons; Aquaculture for Food and Jobs; establishment of the Anomabo Fisheries College and the National Aquaculture and Commercial Farm Projects.
She, however, admitted that the fisheries and aquaculture sector was facing several challenges including illegal fishing.
The Ministry said this required urgent attention and collaboration from relevant stakeholders to tackle such challenges to ensure the sustainability of the sector for present and future generations.
"I am hopeful that you will bring your diverse knowledge and experiences to bear on the implementation of these policies and projects and addressing the challenges confronting the sector," she said.
The Minister, who had earlier inaugurated an 11-Member governing board of the Fisheries Commission said government was committed to fighting illegal fishing, popularly known as "saiko" along the country's territorial waters.
She said about five persons had so far been arrested, prosecuted and fined for engaging in illegal fishing, adding that the Ministry was taking other punitive measures, including suspending the supply of premix fuel to fishermen in certain communities who engaged in the illegal act.
Mrs Koomson that the Ministry would distribute over 17 thousand (17000) bags of feed to beneficiaries of one of Government's flagship programmes, Aquaculture for Food and Jobs (AFJ) Initiative to increase production of fish.
She said, the Ministry was also in the process of acquiring a research vessel for the country to aid in detailed analyses and studies of the oceanic arena and improve the sector.
Mr Agyeman-Prempeh, in a remark assured the Minister of their unflinching support to ensure the development of the sector.