Article by Jacqueline Boivin.
This article serves as an overview and introduction to Solving-FCB’s Africa Case study, based in Ghana & Nigeria.
Figure 1: FAO data of fish consumption in Ghana from 1961-2017.
The factors leading to a decrease in overall fish production are complex. Wisdom explains that these factors include the following:
- IUU (illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing,
- Over-capitalization of small fishing vessels such as canoes
- Use of destructive methods such as dynamite, poisons and bottom trawling (known as Saiko in Ghana) hyperlink to Muntaka article below
- Other issues include tidal waves, trawlers, and fishing in mangroves
- Poor management of fisheries with inadequate governmental regulations
These factors are causing people living in coastal communities to be unable to adapt. They cannot reconcile the loss of fish production with issues that are contributing to climate change and a loss of biodiversity in these areas.
When Dr. Akpalu speaks about destructive methods, he is referring to practices such as use of dynamite, poisons and bottom trawling which destroys the sea floor and disrupts the marine ecosystem. These in turn, lead to a decline in fish production and depletion of fish stocks.
Other related climate change obstacles such as tidal waves are also affecting coastal communities and their ability to cope. The depleting fish stocks leads to a further loss of biodiversity when fishers turn to mangrove areas to make their catch quotas.
This is why Solving-FCB is working with local researchers to gain a better understanding of the local ecosystems. They will explore possible policies and human actions that will help in achieving food security, climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation goals.
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain
- Fisheries and Climate Change in Ghana: Impacts, Causes and Solutions – Muntaka.com
- Fisheries Under Pressure – from Ghana to the Caribbean – World Bank
- Ghana’s fishing industry has a ‘golden seaweed’ problem – how citizen science can help – The Conversation