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20.12.2005 Business & Finance

Fisheries Ministry to construct seven landing sites

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Accra, Dec. 21, GNA - The Ministry of Fisheries has selected seven sites to develop as suitable fish landing sites along the coast and the Volta Lake to modernise the fisheries industry and to improve on production.
These include five viable coastal sites at Axim in the Western Region, Elmina and Mumford, in the Central Region, Jamstown and Teshie in the Greater Accra Region, and two inland sites at Dzemeni and Abotoase, in the Volta Region.
Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries, who took her turn at the meet-the-press series on Tuesday, said the poor state of landing sites posed great danger to artisan fishers during canoe launching and landing, thereby running the risk of losing their canoes, catches and lives.
She said the project would create congenial and hygienic environment for the development of the areas selected and also attract investment.
The Minister said they were within a measurable distance of completing the processes to commission feasibility studies, design and matters related to the construction of the sites. " proposals were opened at the Ministry to conclude the process of procuring the services of a consulting firm to undertake the feasibility study leading to the selection of the actual sites, preparing engineering designs and preparing bidding documents for the award of the contract."
On development of aquaculture, Mrs Asmah said statistics gathered indicated that Ghana's fish consumption requirement was at 720,000 metric tons while its fish supply stood at 400,000 metric tons, a deficit of 320,000 metric tons.
The country imports 200,000 metric tons annually to supplement the difference.
Mrs Asmah said to confirm the findings, the Ministry organised two nationwide forums and workshops for an in-depth discussion of the problems and challenges and based on a policy response; the Ministry had selected aquaculture development as the centrepiece of fisheries policy. She said so far the Ministry had trained 200 youth fish farmers in pond construction and 1,000 had been programmed for training next year. Fifteen groups each made up of 15 persons had been trained in pond construction techniques to carry out construction of ponds in a number of districts.
Mrs Asmah said nine farmers were also trained in hatchery management and fingerlings production in Thailand and Uganda and as a follow-up seven more would be trained in the coming year.
The Ministry would make available about 15 million fingerlings from both the public and the private sector to 100 fish farmers by the end of the year and also initiate and complete two hatcheries at Dormaa Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region and Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region next year to increase fingerlings production by 15 per cent. Mrs Asmah stressed the need to increase fish production to improve the country's fish food security and produce more fish to carter for the protein intake especially of the children.

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