The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Madam Mavis Hawa Koomson, has underscored the centrality of the sector in sustaining food security and livelihoods of the people of Ghana.
“In Ghana, the fisheries sector plays an important role in the daily lives of the people and contributes significantly to job and wealth creation,” Madam Hawa said.
“The sector supports the livelihoods of over three million Ghanaians along the fisheries and aquaculture value chain,” she added.
The minister also noted that fish constitutes 60% of the diet of Ghanaians, adding that the average Ghanaian consumes about 24kg of fish annually.
She said this at Eilat in Israel when she led a delegation to participate in a high-level discussion on Climate Change on Food Security. It is the first International Summit on food from the Sea and the Desert.
Madam Hawa, however, asserted that just like other sectors of the economy, the fisheries and aquaculture sector is also affected by the adverse impacts of climate change.
She said the aquatic systems that support fisheries and aquaculture are undergoing significant changes because of global warming.
“There is evidence of rising water surface temperature and sea level, increase in water salinity, ocean acidification and changes in fish distribution due to the impact of climate change,” she added.
Madam Hawa also noted that the sector is already facing such challenges as illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing.
“Overfishing, habitat degradation, marine pollution and the outbreak of fish diseases are other threats to the fisheries and aquaculture sector,” Madam Hawa said.
“Failure to address the negative impact of climate change on fisheries does not only affect food security but also affects the livelihoods of fishers and artisanal fishing communities who are the most vulnerable to climate change,” she observed.
She said the government of Ghana has adopted short- and long-term measures to strengthen the sector against climate change.
Bala Ali, ISD
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