Ghana earned about US$ 254 million from export of fish and fishery products in 2022, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said on Friday.
If well managed the sector would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country, she said at the commissioning of the Elmina Fishing Port Rehabilitation and Expansion project.
More than three million people are employed along the value chain of the fisheries sector, which contributes 1.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which accounted for over 60 per cent of animal protein intake by the population.
Per capita consumption of fish was 26kg, contributing hugely to national food security in Ghana, the Minister said.
She, however, pointed out that the sector was saddled with challenges such as sea surface temperature and rising sea levels, which increased occurrences of sea surge due to climate change and global warming.
This phenomenon had resulted in coastal sea erosion and destruction of landing sites, affecting the livelihoods of artisanal fishermen.
The project would, therefore, address the challenges facing the sector with regards to safe landing for fishermen after fishing expedition and the hygienic handling of fish.
Additionally, the fishing port was evidence of the Government’s commitment to the growth and development of the sector.
She advised fishermen to stop illegal fishing activities to facilitate the recovery and rebuilding of the fisheries resources.
“The development of landing sites and fishing harbours will be of no use if the fisheries resources are depleted because of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.”
The Sector Minister called on the fisher-folks to work together to harness the full potential of the Elmina Fishing Port to become a catalyst for sustainable growth, increased job creation and improved livelihoods.