Ho, Aug 11, GNA - Mr Eddie Akita, Minister of State in charge of Fisheries, has called on stakeholders in aquaculture to fashion out a scheme that would re-engineer the fishing industry to enhance food security and generate foreign exchange.
Mr Akita, who was addressing a three-day National Stakeholders Consultation workshop on Aquaculture Strategic Framework Development For Ghana on Tuesday, said attempts by successive governments and development partners have failed to rejuvenate the industry. The trend, he said, had affected national fish availability, nutritional status, and income earning opportunities and widening poverty levels.
Mr Akita said the fishery potential of the Volta Lake and the marine resources are under-utilised due to management problems created by the un-cooperative attitude of fisher-folks.
"It should be noted that Ghana has over exploited its major marine resources with the exception of tuna and... It is envisaged that no significant expansion of fish production from that source could be attained."
The Minister said local fish production in the country had continued to decline to a level, which is now less than 50 per cent of national requirement.
Mr Akita urged financial institutions, agro-industrial producers, processors, public and private sectors to mainstream aquaculture to make the enterprise viable.
He suggested the incorporation of the study of fisheries into the basic school curricula to resolve the bottlenecks hampering aquaculture development.
Mr Anatolio Ndong Mba, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative, said in a speech read on his behalf that lack of extension support, quality seed, suitable feed, credit and markets, poorly defined stakeholders and unclear institutional allocations were undermining the fishing industry.
He said FAO was assisting the government to strengthen the organisational capacity of fish farmer groups in Kumasi, Sefwi, Dunkwa and Tarkwa.