NCAP Ghana: Assessment of Fisheries Sector

Submitted by Ben Smith | published 9th Dec 2011 | last updated 13th Jan 2020
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A quarter of the Ghanaian population lives in coastal zones and roughly 10% depend on coastal fisheries for their livelihoods. On average, 65% of the animal protein intake of Ghanaians comes from fish, giving the sector an important role in poverty reduction and food security. For the last four decades, climatic variability has been positively correlated with fluctuations in the landings of the pelagic species upon which Ghana’s fishing industry depends.

The key overall finding was that traditional livelihoods dependent on fisheries will be highly vulnerable to climate change in addition to the fact that current fish stocks off the Ghanaian coast are already considered to be at their maximum level of exploitation.

Stakeholders identified several factors for changing trends in fish stocks:

  • warmer air and sea surface temperatures (SST),
  • over-fishing,
  • and population growth (i.e., greater demand for fish products).

Moreover, stakeholders noted that reductions in available fish stocks have led to increasing unemployment among fishermen presenting serious risks to livelihoods and food security.

Adaptation

Several adaptation options would be instrumental in helping Ghanaian fishing communities to adapt to the climate change impacts on fisheries.

  • Reuse wastewater for aquaculture: As rainfall decreases and the accessibility of freshwater declines, recycled wastewater should be used as a resource for the promotion of an aquacultural industry.
  • Restore freshwater fishery systems: Agro-forestry and ecosystem rehabilitation at Lake Bosumtwi and in the Lake Volta Basin would build ecosystem resilience and improve the adaptive capacity of these fishery systems as the climate changes.
  • Enhance data collection and monitoring networks: There is an overarching need for improved data quality in the fishery sector to facilitate and inform future climate change system-based fishery impact analyses.

Further resources

Related Pages

Back to: Key findings from NCAP Ghana project