The ministry for fisheries and aquaculture has piloted its policy on aquaculture for food and jobs at the James Camp Prisons Fish Farm in Accra.
This follows urgent moves by the government to increase Ghana’s depleting fish stock.
“This comes as a very good start for one of the models of this program which is the collaboration with institutions to produce fish. We are looking at collaborating with some SHS and also the Prison Service and other institutions to produce aquaculture within those institutions,” the sector minister, Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, disclosed to JoyBusiness.
In all, 150 sacks of fish feed were donated to the James Camp Prisons Fish Farm and 3000 fingerlings introduced to the fish pond.
Currently, Ghana consumes over 950,000 metric tons of fish annually and imports over 60 per cent of its fish. In 2016, Ghana imported about $135 million worth of fish because of the reduction in the country’s fish stock.
Ghana’s fisheries sector employs about 10% of the entire population, accounting for two million jobs along the entire value chain. Fish consumption contributes over 60% to total protein intake in Ghana and this is much higher in coastal communities.
Tilapia deaths at Fujian Farm
Mrs Afoley Quaye has ruled out the possibility of the Tilapia Lake Virus (TLV) in the death of Tilapia recently. According to her, bacterial infection, coupled with environmental factors, killed the fish.
“It wasn’t the TLV. It was some lack of oxygen due to the opening of the Bagre Dam. Some water gushed into the Volta Lake and brought down the oxygen in the Lake. Because of the misuse of antibiotics, these fishes died of bacterial infection,” she stated.
To this end, the minister has hinted of the use of autogenous (local) vaccine from the strain found in Ghana to avoid recurrences. This mass vaccination exercise is expected to take place only on the Volta Lake.