Director of Hen Mpoano, Kofi Agbogah

The Director of Hen Mpoano says issues relating to fisheries have been relegated to the background with no knowledge of precisely the problems.

Kofi Agbogah noted that the authorities must urgently address the situation because it is a very complex enterprise that needs the necessary investment.

Mr Agbogah, speaking at a training workshop for selected journalists and CSOs from six West African Countries in Accra, said there is a need to improve fisheries policies in the various countries. 

He noted that Ghana is currently facing a crisis in the fisheries sector across the West African sub-region and the world, which needs urgent attention. 

“One solution cannot solve all the problems, and if there are no problems, we will not get any work to do, and there must be problems, and there must be people to work to solve the issues.

Issues on fisheries relegated to the background – Hen Mpoano

“People take fisheries issues for granted because they think there is a lot of fishes at the sea and riverside and the markets, and they think fish is and will always be there,” he said.

He stressed that engagement between authorities and stakeholders as well as the media needs to be deepened to expand the frontiers for journalists to benefit and be trained on best practices on fisheries.

This, he said, would enable the journalists to report more on the fisheries sector. 

“So in the design of this project, we thought that it is important to engage you journalists to help us spread the news about the sector,” he stated.

Issues on fisheries relegated to the background – Hen Mpoano

 Regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Expert of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu, took the participants through the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and law enforcement in West Africa. 

 Mr Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu noted that illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems due to its potent ability to undermine national and regional efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks.

The consequence, he explained, inhibits progress towards achieving the goals of long-term sustainability and responsibility.

Mr Tsibu noted that IUU fishing takes advantage of corruption and exploits weak management regimes, particularly those of countries lacking the capacity and resources for effective monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS).

Issues on fisheries relegated to the background – Hen Mpoano

He said IUU fishing threatens marine biodiversity, and livelihoods exacerbate poverty and augment food insecurity.

The international community’s focus remains on IUU Fishing as a serious issue for the global fishing sector that impacts negatively on safety, environmental issues, conservation and sustainability.

Hen Mpoano envisions a world where inclusive and integrated management of coastal and marine ecosystems generates long-term benefits to nature and people.

Hen Mpoano’s Mission is to provide technical, policy and extension support to government, private sector and civil society actors through capacity building, research, networking and project development in fisheries and coastal ecosystem governance. 

The training workshop is being sponsored by Oceans 5 and the OAK Foundation.