A one-day final stakeholders meeting to validate the Marine Fisheries Management Plan 2022-2026 held on 1st February, 2022 in Accra. The meeting was for the Ministry and the Fisheries Commission (FC) to build consensus with their stakeholders on the newly developed plan.

The Fisheries Commission is enjoined by Section 42 (1) of the Fisheries Act 2002 (Act 625) to develop a fishery Management Plan for the conservation of the marine resources.

Pursuant to the directive, the Marine Fisheries Management Plan (2015-2019) was developed to halt the declining fish stocks. Lessons learned from the old plan and other scientific data led to the development of the new Marine Fisheries Management Plan (2022-2026).

Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Moses Anim, admitted that every strategic plan must be based on the best scientific information and that, the success of the fishing industry is largely reliant on a good management policy.

He advised Ghanaians to be passionate about taking courses in fisheries in order to curb the trends of taking up various appointments in the domestic and industrial vessels.

In a brief statement, the Executive Director of the Fisheries Commission, Mr. Michael Arthur Dadzie, indicated that the current Marine fisheries management plan to be validated has been guided by the successes and failures that confronted the implementation of the previous one and stressed the importance of setting up a Marine fisheries management implementation committee to monitor the scheme of things to know whether the commission is on the right path.

He added that the goal of the management plan is to create a strategic framework for reversing the downward trend in fisheries resources and establishing a competent management regime to ensure that fish stocks are utilized sustainably in a better environment.

The Deputy Chairman of the Inshore Fishers Association, Mr. Francis Kwesi Eshun, lamented that his fellow fishermen have contributed to their woes and also attributed their problems to the lackadaisical attitude of some fishing regulators who are unable to regulate fishing activities properly.

He disclosed that in the olden days, the sea was stocked with a variety of fishes from which fishermen could choose but now, the illegal activities of some fishermen have depleted our fish stock.

Some stakeholders in the fishing industry also expressed some of their grievances to the Ministry and Fisheries Commission for them to be addressed swiftly.