UCC builds capacity of stakeholders in sustainable fishing

Anomabo (C/R), May 23, GNA – The Centre for Coastal Management (CCM), University of Cape Coast (UCC) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun a five-day training workshop for stakeholders in the fisheries value-chain industry.

The workshop, being held at Anomabo in the Central Region, is designed to help participants to better understand issues in the sector and to empower them with the right tools for the rapid development of the country’s coastal zones.

Participants were drawn from the Hydrological Services, development agencies, donor agencies, law enforcement agencies, oil and gas companies, academia, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as well as spatial and economic planners.

They will be schooled on topics such as introduction to coastal zone Management (ICZM), coastal eco-systems in Ghana, coastal management instruments, coastal management and community based management, and coastal profile and field work.

Dr Denis Aheto, Director of CCM giving the opening remarks, expressed concern about the continued over-exploitation of coastal resources, environmental degradation, weak institutional capacities and low technical and financial support for that sector.

This, he opined, had been aggravated by the high poverty levels, unemployment and lack of strict enforcement of laws in coastal communities.

He noted that such threats must be dealt with decisively because coastal resources were of economic, cultural, religious and environment significance to the rapid development of the country and they must be protected at all cost.

Dr Aheto called for spatial planning in the development of the coastal belt, saying ‘it is key for generating and applying information to design and monitor conservation sites to enable it to play its meaningful role in national development.

He said CCM, UCC would continue to work with USAID in many sectors including climate change to help Ghana to develop lasting climate-resilient strategies and low-emission as part of the climate change development strategy.

This, he said, was the best way to reduce disasters, save lives and ensure sustainable fishing as a way of life.

Professor Kobina Yankson, a Lecturer at the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, called on the government to scale up investment in the fisheries sector to give it the necessary recognition as an important means to solving issues associated with coastal environments.

That, he said would ensure that all stakeholders worked together to manage the coastal environment for their mutual benefit. GNA

By Isaac Arkoh, GNA