Alternative Livelihoods for Fishers in Ghana

“The Ministry is considering getting [fishers] to adopt alternative livelihoods.” -Nayon Bilijo, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for the Government of Ghana

Not unlike other fisheries in some developing nations, Ghana’s fisheries are struggling in the face of dwindling stocks and issues secondary to development. In response, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development is undertaking a series of initiatives to both replenish stocks and provide alternative income to fishers.

“Now, the plan is this,” says Bilijo, “we have to align our fishing capacity and efforts to sustainable catch levels and to supporting fishers affected by the reduction with alternative livelihoods. That’s the first stage, and this one will involve semi-industrial and industrial fishers because increased effort is not resulting in increased fish catch. We have realized that there’s the need for some of them to reduce their efforts at fish catch. Now, if they reduce their efforts at fish catch, they are going to lose income and therefore money has to be put aside for them to engage in alternative livelihood means.”

Funding is being provided by the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARFP), which is was developed by the World Bank.

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About Ret Talbot

Ret Talbot is a freelance writer who covers fisheries at the intersection of science and sustainability. His work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic, Mongabay, Discover Magazine, Ocean Geographic and Coral Magazine. He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife, scientific illustrator Karen Talbot.
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