Overfishing linked to Ghana’s fish stock depletion – Norwegian researcher

Overfishing linked to Ghana's fish stock depletion - Norwegian Researcher

Mr. Jens Otto Krakstad, a Senior Researcher with the Institute of Marine Research in Norway and Cruise Leader for the Research Vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, has disclosed that Ghana's fish stock depletion problem is due to overfishing.

Mr. Krakstad said the current 12,000 artisanal fishing boats in Ghana must be re-looked at, as overfishing is the underlying problem of the depletion of the country's marine fish stock.

He said this when speaking to the media during the commemoration of World Ocean Day at the Port and a tour of the research vessel that is conducting research in the marine waters of Ghana and La Cote D'Ivoire.

He said: “I think that with the effort that the two countries are taking together, it will be possible to increase the stocks, but the underlining problem is that we are fishing too much, so even if we are able to regain the fish stock, the situation is that we have more than 12,000 artisanal fishing boats in Ghana, and most probably that number somehow needs to be reduced.”

Mr. Krakstad said they have noticed that the pelagic fish stock in Ghanaian waters is especially depleting, as there is a reasonable reduction in pelagic fish in Ghana.

He noted that embarking on the upcoming closed season in July and August was important to give the fish time to spawn and grow up to a size that the fishermen could harvest.

He expressed happiness that Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire were supporting the closed-season initiative, adding however that there was a need to reduce overfishing within the marine waters to ensure the sustainability of the fish.

He what they had noticed during the research was that Ghana was in the upwelling system period, in which the ocean current was speeding up and the cold water was coming up to the coast, producing a lot more food for the fish.

“So, what we see now is that the anchovies are coming into the coast and feeding on the phytoplankton, and we see that most of the sardinella is still in Cote d'Ivoire, albeit moving towards Ghana because the upwelling and production of phytoplankton are increasing in the Ghanaian waters. We expect that within a couple of months now there is going to be more pelagic fish also in Ghana,” he added.

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