The Anomabo Fisheries College is set to open for the 2020 academic year to offer fisheries management training courses for fishery artisans in the country, Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister of Fisheries, has announced.
She said the College, to be run under the University of Cape Coast (UCC), would train artisans including boat and net maintenance technicians and provide certification for fishermen.
"I am reliably informed that the curricula is completed and also covers degree training from undergraduate to the PhD level at the College. I want to commend UCC for its contribution to government's effort on this score," Mrs Quaye said.
Mrs Quaye was speaking at the opening of a training programme for some journalists on fisheries management, organised by the Centre for Coastal Management, University of Cape Coast (CCM-UCC), in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
The five-day training was hosted by the Ainoo-Ansah Farms at Gomoa Okyereko near Winneba in the Central Region.
The training provided an important platform for the journalists to connect around issues of vital national interest concerning sustainable fisheries and coastal management in Ghana.
Mrs Quaye said the training was, therefore, appropriate as it encompassed the full spectrum of issues confronting the marine and coastal environment.
She expressed happiness that it would provide the needed platform for engagement among journalists to promote accurate reporting on fisheries to aid effective decision-making and to advocate compliance of fisheries management regulations.
She said discussions on the fisheries sector were of great national significance at "this critical time when key stakeholders including government, fisheries practitioners, scientists and the private sector, are deeply concerned about the decline in fisheries output, and the ongoing coastal degradation".
Recent estimates show that annual yields of small pelagics in Ghana have declined from approximately 130,000 metric tonnes, some 10 years ago, to about 30,000 metric tonnes.
The reasons for the decline include over fishing, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.
Mrs Quaye said the Government was tackling the declining fish stocks head-on by reviewing the Fisheries Act to reflect current needs and trends, while the new Policy on Co-management was being drafted.
She commended the UCC for partnering the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to run the Fisheries and Coastal Management Capacity Building Support Project, since 2015.
Through the partnership, the CCM-UCC had organised several short courses on Fisheries Management including Integrated Coastal Zone Management, GIS for coastal area planning, and Climate Change Adaptation.
"I am reliably informed that this intervention has benefitted about 300 professionals drawn from the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) and the Fisheries Commission, NADMO and MMDAs among others," Mrs Quaye said.
"The Ministry is most grateful to the USAID for supporting our capacity building efforts through provision of financial assistance to roll out these courses."
"Together we can rebuild the fish stocks and sustainably manage our coastal resources to bring the benefits that we all desire."