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20.12.2005 Regional News

Regional Maritime Academy to restructure course content

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Accra, Dec. 20, GNA - Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister of Fisheries, on Tuesday said the Ministry was liaising with the Regional Maritime Academy to teach subjects that would promote Ghana's desire to continue to play a lead role within the fishery industry in the West African Sub-Region.

She said currently, the Academy was lacking in the teaching of programmes such as Tuna Fishing Technology making the trade to be dominated by foreigners in Ghanaian waters. Mrs Asmah asked the Academy to revise the content of its teaching programmes to include Tuna Fishing Technology adding: "There is virtually no Ghanaian experts in Tuna Fishing so the trade is dominated by foreigners,"

Mrs Asmah, who was speaking to journalists at the weekly meet the press series in Accra, said throughout West Africa, Ghanaian fishermen were known for their excellent skills but the academy needed to revise the course content of its teaching programme to address the needs in the Tuna sector.

Calling for donor support in the training of personnel, Mrs Asmah said data collection in fish landing from aquaculture, Volta Lake and the Marine was quite weak and unsatisfactory due to the low staff numbers and lack of requisite skills.

She said financial support was being sought to strengthen the Ministry and the directorate in terms of equipment and training of staff relevant to the fisheries sector so that they could respond to the needs and aspirations of the poor in the fishing communities. "General staff training is needed in navigation, fishing gear development, taxonomy and fish health," she said. Mrs Asmah said one of the most significant constraints to a sustainable development of aquaculture was the threat of diseases both emerging and re-emerging ones.

"An understanding of this threat and the possession of the means to control it are of great significance in sustaining aquaculture development," she said.

She, therefore, called for the equipping of a laboratory to mitigate the effects of the threat as well as the training of personnel to man such a facility.

"The laboratory will be used to assure the quality of aquaculture products while it will also provide for the equally important necessary food safety measures," she said. 20 Dec. 05

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