Ghana Aquaculture Association Decries Importation Of Fish17 December 2013
GHANA - Members of the Ghana Aquaculture Association (GAA) have called on the government to immediately fashion out measures to stop the importation of fish into the country, which has had a negative impact on local production.
The Chronicle reports that according to the GAA members, despite the high demand for tilapia, the farmers were facing huge challenges selling their fish as a result of the importation of fish, with its corresponding low prices, into the country.
Buttressing their claim, the group mentioned that regardless of falling below the target of the Ghana National Aquaculture Development Plan (GNADP) to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of farmed fish per annum, selling has become a major headache to them.
They have further urged the ministry to expedite action on the introduction of Ghana’s version of GIFT tilapia, to make the businesses of players in the sector profitable, since it defies logic that they would use seven months, instead of having the opportunity to use less than five months, to develop the fish.
The GAA also called on the government, particularly the Ministry for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, to institute an aquaculture development fund to sustain aquaculture in Ghana.
The call on the government to institute the fund is against the background that most of the players in the sector lack knowledge, technical and managerial skills, funding and markets to operate successfully.
Addressing the members at a day general meeting of the GAA, which was organised in collaboration with Raanan Fish Feed Limited at Akosombo on Wednesday, the Chairman of the GAA, Mr Jacob Ainoo-Ansah, contended that the fund, if when established, would go a long way to support the operations of players.
The meeting, which was themed, Sustaining the Aquaculture Industry in Ghana, was attended by members from across the country.
According to him, the fund would support among other things quality extension services provided by both the public and private sector, leading to the provision of extension personnel who are equipped to undertake on-the-spot measurement and advise farmers.
The GAA Chairman further disclosed that the fund would help develop physical infrastructure that would open up high priority areas for fish farming operations, as well as identifying farmers with potential and supporting them financially.
Responding to the call of the GAA, the Head of In-land Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of the Ministry, Mr Emmanuel Aryee, said the first measure to ensure the sustainability of aquaculture in Ghana was to set minimum standards as regulators.
He explained that the conditions on the lake were not homogeneous, hence the haphazardly displacement of cages on the lake would have a negative contribution on production, which in the long extent would affect aquaculture.
The head of In-land and Aquaculture urged players to invest into the sector by training staff, through the provision of technical and managerial skills, as well as ensuring proper the siting of cages.
TheFishSite News Desk