Ghana has committed to 100% transparency in industrial fishing in its waters effective 2023 through an Electronic Monitoring System (EMS). This is the first of its kind in the West African Sub-region. The Hon. Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Hawa Koomson (MP) disclosed this when she led Ghana’s delegation to participate in the 8th Edition of Our Ocean Conference which was held from 2nd to 3rd March, 2023 in Panamá City, Panamá under the theme “Our Ocean Our Connection”.
Hon. Koomson indicated that video cameras, remote sensors, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and hard drives installed on fishing boats, jointly known as Electronic Monitoring Systems (EMS), will facilitate the monitoring of fishing activities as well as the collection of important data including catch, quantity, labour activities which would help improve oversight and management of its seas. In addition, the information gathered would be useful to the fisheries value chain and pipelines as well as enable the country to adhere to international regulations governing ocean and marine conservations.
According to the Hon. Minister, the EMS seeks to discourage, counter and eradicate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in Ghana, while providing employment avenues for Ghanaians within the fisheries sector. She hoped that with this commitment Ghana was on course towards managing its ocean better, galvanise support from neighbouring fishing nations as well as demonstrating to the European Commission and other development partners of improvements being made to ensure better management of its fisheries.
Ghana’s commitment to 100% transparency in industrial fishing through an EMS marks a significant step towards sustainable fisheries management in the West African Sub-region. By investing in EMS, Ghana is positioning itself as a leader in fisheries management and is sending a message to the world of its commitment to the conservation of its fisheries.