The Export of Fish from Ghana
Located on the west coast of Africa, Ghana has a coastline that is almost 550 kilometres long. It is also home to Africa’s largest manmade lake, Lake Volta, while the Volta River basin is the largest in the country. Agriculture is the most dominant sector of Ghana that employs over 60 % of the country’s workforce and sums up to 45-50 % of Ghana’s GDP.
Fishing Industry in Ghana – History and Present
The former Department of Fisheries built fishponds in the northern part of the country in 1953, post which fish farming came into existence. Built to operate as hatcheries along with complementing the country’s demand for fish, it was also a way to generate employment opportunities for people. Communities that lived near reservoirs were taught fishing skills. After Ghana gained independence in 1957, the government launched various irrigation schemes and policies to develop fishponds to promote this sector.
Majority of Ghana’s fish farmers operate on a small scale,
deploying extensive practices for fish farming. Based on marine
as well as inland water resources, aquaculture and coastal
lagoons, Ghana’s fisheries constitute 5 % of the GDP. Almost 75
% of the local produce of fish in Ghana is consumed, as the per
capita fish consumption is 25 kg every year. Though relatively
new, fish farming is spreading in the country, with fish being
the most important non-tradition commodity of export in Ghana.
Future Prospects of Fish Exports
Ghana has huge potential to increase tuna fish export to countries such as Japan, Singapore and Spain. The current data and statistics convey that tuna is the only resource that can be considered for significant expansion. The increase in export of high value species of fish may lead to a decrease in the availability of this fish in the local as well as the international market. This is also leading to a decline in the competitive advantage that the country has had in the past years. However, the fisheries sector of Ghana has substantial potential on which the various government-initiated plans and policies have been focused.
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