Giving the Fish a Break

Gaining the support of fisherfolk for fish stock recovery in Ghana

Fishermen fixing their nets in anticipation of the end of the closed season the next day. / USAID
Fishermen ready with canoes to go fishing on the last day of the closed season. / USAID

These fish species, often referred to as “the people’s fish,” have been an affordable protein source for most Ghanaians, playing a crucial role in maintaining good nutrition and health. Maintaining a healthy fish supply is especially important at a time when food prices in Ghana have risen 30% over the last year.

Nana Jojo Solomon is president of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council. / USAID
Cross section of fishers at the Fisher to Fisher Dialogues in Anomabo, Central Region. / USAID
A fish processor leads fishers in a discussion during a breakout session. / USAID

“During the closures, we rest and mend our canoes and nets,” Kedey said. “I also work on my onion farm to earn some income. With closed seasons and measures to stop illegal fishing, I believe we can recover our fish stocks.”

During the closed season, fishers take a break to mend their fishing nets. / USAID
Stephen Kankam from local environmental organization Hen Mpoano trains fishers on the state of the country’s small pelagic fisheries and the path to recovery. / USAID

“Now we know we can use the same Fisher-to-Fisher Dialogues methodology to reach fisherfolk with awareness about overfishing, and why we should change our attitudes and behaviors to sustain an industry that might not always be reliable,” Solomon said.

“We can target the youth and push them towards additional livelihoods, and reduce the stress on the marine capture fishery.”

USAID/Ghana Mission Director Kimberley Rosen helped Ghana’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to symbolically open the sea with a key to end the closed fisheries season. / USAID

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