Cross section of participants launch of the report
Research reveals Ghana lost USD 50 million through illegal fishing
Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 17:00 (GMT + 9)
A research conducted into the activities of illegal fishing practice, popularly called ‘Saiko’ on Ghanaian ocean has revealed that Ghana lost between USD 40 and million in 2017, involving 100,000 metric tonnes (MT) of fish.
The study represented the first comprehensive attempt to estimate the volume and value of fish landed through saiko, which helps to understand the ecological and socio-economic implications of the practice.
Ghana's population of approximately 30 million spans a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups and has an Atlantic coastline that stretches 560 kilometres (350 miles) on the Gulf of Guinea in Atlantic Ocean to its south (Wikipedia) ►
Saiko is the local name for illegal and unreported fishing practice in Ghana, where industrial trawlers transfer frozen fish to specially-moulded canoes on the high seas. It allows industrial trawlers to effectively steal the fish from small-scale fishers before selling them back to the local communities at a profit.
Currently, saiko is prohibited under the country’s fisheries laws, attracting a fine between US$100,000 and two million dollars with the minimum fine increasing to one million dollars where catches involved juvenile fish or use of prohibited fishing gears.
The research was conducted by the Environmental Justice Foundation and Hen Mpoano, both environmental non-governmental organisations with interest in protecting the country’s natural resources and ensuring their sustainable management.
Mr Kofi Agbogah, a Director at Hen Mpoano, presenting the key findings of the research at the launch of the report in Accra on Monday, said the practice had metamorphosed into a lucrative industry, with 90 per cent of the trawlers owned by foreigners; especially Chinese and Koreans, depleting fish species including small pelagics such as sardinella and mackerel with impunity.
He noted that the saiko business, over the year, had severe implications on the artisanal fishing sector, which was critical to the country’s food security and provided more jobs than what the former could offer.
The 30-page report titled: “How illegal ‘Saiko’ fishing is fuelling the collapse of Ghana’s fisheries” provided insight into activities of the illegal syndicate, who continued to plunder the country’s fisheries resources.
Source: ghananewsagency.org | Read full article here