Mr Nayon Bilijo, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has announced his Ministry’s plan to promote the co-management concept in the fisheries sector at the on-going West Africa Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP).
Consequently the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MFAD) intends to carry out a review of the relevant legislation to provide the legal basis for it.
Mr Bilijo was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Integrated Coastal and Fisheries Governance Initiative (ICFGI) in Accra, held January 9, 2014, in Accra, Ghana at the British Council.
The ICFG also known as “Hen Mpoano” was a four-year program to improve the governance on fisheries and coastal land use in the coastal districts of the Western Region.
The programme which was funded by the USAID was to help bring out the problems facing the people as a result of the oil find in the region, as well as build the capacity of the local people.
Mr Bilijo stated that over the past decade, the co-management concept has gained increasing acceptance among governments, development agencies and researchers as an important option for fisheries management systems.
He said ‘Hen Mpoano’ has tried a lot of co-management initiatives with varying degrees of successes and failures which are a document for the country to learn from.
He commended the ‘Hen Mpoano’ initiative for its work with the Marine Police Unit in the Western Region as part of fisheries enforcement as well as strengthening the capacity of the prosecuting agency resulting in numerous convictions.
Mr Bilijo also stated that MFAD has produced several national policy documents outlining the goals of fisheries management and related statements supporting a co-management approach.
These documents include the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy of 2008, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector Development Plan, as well as the Ghana National Aquaculture Development Plan.
Mr Paul Victor Obeng, Chairman NDPC and Senior Advisor to the President, called for further discussions between the National Development Planning Commission and the stakeholders to bring out the lessons from the programme for the country’s coastal management.
He said the initiative by ‘Hen Mpoano’ could be emulated by other coastal regions and districts to improve their fisheries and coastal land use.
Dr. Brian Crawford, Interim Director of the Coastal Resources Center of the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, and Kofi Agbogah, Director of the ICFG, also spoke at the event.
Source: Ghana News Agency