Accra, May 19, GNA - The Minister of Fisheries, Mrs Gladys Asmah on Thursday said the threat of diseases was some of the most significant constraints to a sustainable development of aquaculture in Ghana. She said an understanding of this threat and the possession of the means to control it was of great significance in sustaining aquaculture development.
Mrs. Asmah, who was speaking at a development partners' meeting to discuss pertinent issues affecting the fisheries industry in Ghana and how to find solutions to them, called for well-trained personnel with a well-equipped laboratory to mitigate the effects of the threat. The Minister announced that financial support was being sought to strengthen the Ministry and the Directorate of Fisheries with equipment and training of staff to identify and respond to the needs and aspirations of the poor in the fishing communities.
She, therefore, called on the partners to support the fisheries sector with technical assistance for aquaculture development since it was a highly skilled and scientific enterprise.
Mrs Asmah noted that the country's seas and inland waters were being over fished because of the endemic poverty in the fishing communities and the country as a whole.
She said to address the issue the ministry had designed an "Alternative Livelihood Scheme" to siphon from the fishing industry young men who had found themselves in the industry by default. Mr Asmah said the scheme would target the youth, who would otherwise find gainful employment elsewhere but had found themselves in the fishing industry, by giving them employable skills for other vocations especially during lean seasons.
Mr Emmanuel Quaye, Chief Director of the Ministry, said the Ministry was re-positioned to impact positively on the reduction of poverty.
He said it was unfortunate that in this part of the world, including Ghana, fisheries was excluded when agriculture was discussed and it was time to reverse the trend to ensure rapid growth of the sector.
Pape D. Kone, FAO Acting Deputy Regional Representative for Africa, said the partnership group established five years ago, met regularly to review their participation and area of support to the agricultural sector.