Ghana’s tuna industry needs government intervention – GTA
The Ghana Tuna Association (GTA) has called on the government to help revive the tuna industry, especially the pole and line fishery, as only two of them could continue to operate by 2022 due to the costs of high exploitation.
Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio, GTA Secretary, said stakeholder engagement is urgently needed to ensure that measures are put in place to properly manage the problem.
He explained that although Ghana had 20 registered pole-and-line vessels, only five were currently in operation due to the high operating costs associated with tuna fishing.
Mr Amarfio, also director of operations of Laif Fisheries, said this during the dialogue of the Tema Regional Industrial Information Center of the Ghana News Agency, which offers commercial operators the opportunity to communicate with the public.
He said most of the vessels were scrapped because they were over 45 years old and expensive to operate, adding that the high license fees, coupled with the unavailability of anchovies used as bait to catch tuna, were killing the sector.
Other challenges were the high cost of fuel and water charges paid in dollars at ports, he said.
Mr Amarfio called on the government to support Ghanaians through loans to increase their participation in the tuna fishing industry, as currently foreigners hold the largest share.
He called for the creation of appropriate fishing banks to support the industry, saying these banks would better understand the industry and come up with terms to meet the particular needs of the sector.
The tuna industry previously contributed more than $ 350 million a year to the economy, but this has declined due to non-functioning vessels, Amarfio said and called for measures to enable the industry to thrive.
Francis Ameyibor, GNA’s regional director of Tema, said the Industrial News Hub platform engaged companies on national issues to educate the public and called on companies to take the opportunity to publicize their activities.