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.
Securing sustainability and social equity
Since January 2017, EJF has been proud to have the support of the EU delegation in Accra, Ghana, which is now aiding a three-year project to secure sustainable fisheries in the country. As part of the this project EJF is working to help drive a reduction in illegal fishing, and give local fishers a voice in process to build a more sustainable fishing sector:
EJF will use our unique combination of local surveillance and remote monitoring to strengthen the monitoring and reporting of illegal fishing, empower local communities to document illicit fishing activities and demonstrably improve the sustainability of Ghana’s fisheries.
EJF aims to empower small-scale fishers, vulnerable and marginalised groups to articulate their interest in fisheries reforms and implement fisheries co-management.
EJF will promote alternative livelihood options for small-scale fishing communities, helping them to diversify their local economies and to reduce their dependence on fishing.
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.
of fish catch in West Africa is illegal, costing the region US$1 billion each year
Ensuring social equity and sustainability in Ghana's fisheries
EJF is proud to have the support of the EU delegation in Accra, Ghana, which is now aiding a three-year project to secure sustainable fisheries in the country.
Ghana: A Fishing Nation in Crisis
This film shows how IUU fishing and the illegal practice called saiko are devastating Ghana's fisheries
Ghana’s Fishing Sector and the Voluntary Guidelines on Governance of Tenure
Securing equitable and sustainable fisheries: The case for greater transparency in the management and governance of Ghana’s fisheries sector: Transparency must be improved to eradicate illegal fishing and prevent the collapse of Ghana’s fishing industry, says this new report from the Far Dwuma Nkɔdo project, which lays out key measures that can be implemented immediately by the government.
Securing equitable and sustainable fisheries: The case for greater transparency in the management and governance of Ghana’s fisheries sector
- Publication Date 2019-01-16
- Type Report
Transparency must be improved to eradicate illegal fishing and prevent the collapse of Ghana’s fishing industry, says a new report from the Far Dwuma Nkɔdo project, which lays out key measures that can be implemented immediately by the government. Transparency is crucial to provide much-needed accountability in a sector facing unprecedented challenges, as fish stocks plunge to their lowest recorded levels.
The problem with 'saiko', an ecological and human catastrophe: This briefing looks at the problem of 'saiko', an illegal and destructive form of industrial fishing which is threatening Ghana's fisheries
The problem with 'saiko', an ecological and human catastrophe
- Publication Date 2018-06-04
- Type Report
More than 200 villages along Ghana’s coastline rely on fisheries as their primary source of income. However, Ghana's small pelagic fishery, crucial for food security and livelihoods, is on the brink of collapse following decades of over-exploitation. The illegal practice of 'saiko' fishing - the transhipment of fish at sea from industrial trawlers to local canoes - has had a particularly destructive impact on Ghana’s small pelagic fisheries. This briefing looks at the scale of the practice and its impacts on livelihoods, food security and sustainability.
Roundtable to discuss the international guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure and the relevance for Ghana’s fisheries sector: This report summarises the discussions in Ghana led by the Environmental Justice Foundation, Hen Mpoano and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation on the implementation of new international guidelines on tenure rights to protect the country's fisheries sector.
Roundtable to discuss the international guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure and the relevance for Ghana’s fisheries sector
- Publication Date 2018-07-16
- Type Report
In the context of the on-going national reform of the fisheries law framework, the Environmental Justice Foundation, Hen Mpoano and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization organised a roundtable to address the challenges faced by Ghana's small-scale fisheries sector. The report summarises the discussions on how the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security in Ghana will help promote and maintain responsible governance of tenure of fisheries resources.
Joint communique from the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council and National Fish Processors and Traders Association: In this communiqué Ghana’s small-scale fishers, fish traders and processors make their priorities clear as the country’s fisheries laws are reformed. EJF supports the recommendations as essential steps to rescue Ghana’s struggling fisheries.
Joint communique from the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council and National Fish Processors and Traders Association
- Publication Date 2018-07-02
- Type Report
Ghana is currently undergoing a review of its national fisheries law framework, and small-scale fishers, fish traders and processors – represented by the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council and the National Fish Processors and Traders Association – presented a ten-point communiqué to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.
Principles of good governance for securing equitable and sustainable fisheries : This briefing provides an overview of global guidelines on tenure rights and how they can address key challenges facing Ghana’s fisheries sector, for the benefit of a more equitable and sustainable fishing industry.
Principles of good governance for securing equitable and sustainable fisheries
- Publication Date 2018-04-09
- Type Report
The Government of Ghana has committed to rebuilding the nation’s fisheries through key measures set out in the 2015-2019 Fisheries Management Plan. The national fisheries law framework is also undergoing a revision to ensure emerging challenges are addressed and to bring Ghana’s laws into line with international standards. This process offers a crucial opportunity to ensure principles of sustainable management and good governance are enshrined within Ghana’s fisheries laws and future policies.
Far Dwuma Nkodo Project Update January to June 2018: Welcome to our 2018 half-year newsletter, which provides an update on progress under the project and our upcoming work.
The Far Dwuma Nkɔdo project is implemented by EJF and Hen Mpoano, with funding from the EU. The project aims to secure greater environmental sustainability and social equity in Ghana’s fisheries sector, by supporting efforts to reduce illegal fishing and building the capacity of fishing communities in the sustainable management of their resource.