Accra, May 10, GNA - The British Government is to sponsor Ghanaian fishermen to understudy aquaculture in the United Kingdom to be replicated in the country.
Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries, who announced this after she held a meeting with the British High Commissioner in Ghana, Mr Gordon Withered, said the move was aimed at supplementing the quantum of fish produced locally and to meet demands during the lean season. The meeting focused on how best the High Commission could assist the Ministry in policy formulation and training of personnel at the Ministry to improve upon their professional efficiency.
The Minister said aqua-culture was a large income earner elsewhere but had been neglected and left unattended to for a very long time adding; "the fishing industry is now science-driven and must be exploited to the benefit of the country.
The Minister also noted that plans were underway to develop an alternative livelihood programme for individuals living in fishing communities but did not want to go into fishing.
Mrs Asmah said the programme would give skill training to fishermen in areas such as carpentry, masonry, and gari-processing among other things.
She said the Ministry had observed that most people living in fishing communities resorted to fishing as a means of livelihood and such practice put pressure on the water bodies in the country. She said there were about 24,000 fishing crafts in the Volta Basin instead of an optimum number of 11,000.
Mrs Asmah said the Ministry would soon hold an investment forum on aquaculture to expose investors to opportunities in the fishing industry.
'We want to attract investors into the fishing arena and by doing so we hope to create employment and also increase the national revenue", she said.