Illegal fishing is devastating our oceans and West Africa is at the heart of this crisis. Around 37% of all fish caught in the region is done so illegally. Ghana is reliant on the fishing industry. It brings over US$1 billion into the country every year and employs over 2.5 million people.
As industrial vessels pillage Ghana’s coastline of vital fish stocks, it is the country’s artisanal fishing communities who are paying the price. Now, faced with declining incomes and food insecurity, many of these fishers are being driven to engage in illegal activities themselves.
This is our livelihood - since we were born - and we have nowhere to go…. We need help, we are going out of business and we are dying.
Joseph Prah, Chairman of the Elmina Boat Owners Association, Ghana
Working with local fishing communities
Between 2017 and 2019, EJF will work with local partner Hen Mpoano to improve the lives of fishers and promote food security across Ghana. We’ll work with almost 60 communities across the 10 districts in Ghana’s Central Region and in the Volta Estuary in a bid to safeguard marine resources for current and future generations of local fishers.
We’ll aim to empower local communities to take a stand against illegal fishing activities, providing the much needed evidence for the government to take action against these illicit practices; train local fisherman to understand and protect their rights in fisheries management; promote the fair allocation of tenure rights to protect fishers’ landing sites from the encroachment of tourism and other industrial activities; and identify and promote alternative livelihoods to help broaden fisher communities’ economic basis and support the long term sustainability of Ghana’s fish stocks.