The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is seeking to partner Ghana to strengthen the locals fisheries sector.

The USAID through the Sustainable Fisheries Management Practices (SFMP), the University of Rhode Island has already partnered the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission to strengthen data-driven decision-making and improve the fisheries sector regulatory framework.

That’s not all, they have also embarked on a sensitization drive for the adoption of responsible fishing practices to facilitate rebuilding Ghana’s marine fish stocks, and ensure viable livelihoods for fisherfolk. 

In addition, the USAID project through the SFMP also facilitated Ghana’s first-ever one-month closed season for the small-scale marine canoe sector in 2019 to help rebuild depleted species and launched a Canoe Identification Card system to better regulate the number of canoes active in the sector. 

At a virtual learning event marking the conclusion of the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP), a seven-year, $24 million program funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

In his remarks, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher J. Lamora commended the SFMP’s work to strengthen fisheries sector management, calling for the celebration of their collective achievements while recognizing that more work was needed to rescue Ghana’s small pelagic fisheries, which are in a dire state.

 He reiterated the willingness of the United States government to work with stakeholders to rebuild fish stocks that have been increasingly at risk due to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and to help ensure a locally sourced, nutritious, and sustainable supply of protein. 

Speaking at the event, Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson called or a unity of purpose to change the narrative and support actions for sustainable management of Ghana’s fisheries to ensure food security and the livelihoods of fishers.”

The SFMP complemented Ghana’s ongoing efforts to address the immediate effects of Covid-19 by disseminating information to fishing communities on health and safety protocols, including via a widely viewed video produced by popular Ghanaian musician Kofi Kinaata, and piloted an economic safety net program with approximately 2,000 vulnerable households. 

The USAID has also introduced the Feed the future program. The program is the U.S. Government’s initiative to end global hunger. 

Led by USAID and driven by collaborative partnership across public and private sectors, including 11 U.S. Government agencies, Feed the Future addresses the root causes of poverty and hunger. 

This is done by boosting inclusive agriculture-led economic growth, resilience and nutrition in countries with great need and opportunity for improvement.  

USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. 

USAID’s activities and strategic partnerships support Ghana’s journey to self-reliance and advances an integrated approach to development. 

It promotes accountability, sustainable systems, and inclusive development.