By Christiana Y. Gyampo
The government is implementing a number of projects to boost fish stock production in the country to reduce fish import.
These include a US$ 50 million Chinese grant for the construction of the James Town Fishing Harbour complex and phase one of the Anomabo fisheries college, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Others are the provision of outboard motors, the supply of inputs to fishermen at subsidised rate, ice plant and cold storage facility with a daily capacity of three tons and the prudent management of the pre-mix fuel.
The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Aforley Quaye, speaking at the meet-the-press series in Accra on Tuesday, said the government was committed to the rapid transformation the sector.
Mrs. Aforley Quaye said the challenges that hitherto face the management of premix fuel have been solved with the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee made up of Ministries of Energy, Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Finance, and the Ghana National Petroleum Authority and the National Premix Fuel Committee, which has been able to stop the diversion of the premix fuel.
The measures implemented by the Inter-Ministerial Committee resulted in the reduction of the number of Landing Beach Committees from 475 to 286, while daily and monthly returns book were introduced for proper record keeping and accountability of the sale of the commodity. The measures have saved the country GHC 36 million.
To reduce youth unemployment, the Ministry initiated a programme dubbed ‘Aquaculture For Food and Jobs’ which is expected to create 80,000 direct and indirect jobs along the aquaculture value chain and provide additional 50,000mt of fish over a three year period.
She said the programme would train 2000 youth from the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO), to provide extension services to fish farmers.
On health, she said three fish health laboratories were rehabilitated, and 23 fish health monitoring exercises were conducted to prevent the occurrence of a fish kill.