Small-Scale Fishermen and NGOs Call on the President of Ghana to End Saiko Fishing

Small-Scale Fishermen and NGOs Call on the President of Ghana to End Saiko Fishing

Today marks the International Day Against IUU. To mark this day the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen’s Council and eight other NGOs in Ghana have written an open letter to the President, HE  Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to end Saiko.

Saiko is the illegal transhipment of fish between specialized canoes and industrial trawlers. It is a very destructive form of illegal fishing. 90% of the catches in a saiko slab are juveniles and small pelagics. This is brought in by the specialized canoes and sold to the fish processor in coastal communities at a profit. Saiko is a form of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. It contravenes Ghana’s fisheries law. It puts the livelihood of about 2.7 million Ghanaian at the risk of collapse.

“The President, as the Co-chair of the SDG Advocates group, said: “This is a time of great hope for the world. If we work smartly together and stay on course, we can raise millions out of poverty and significantly expand basic social services for many more by the 2030 end date of the SDG’s” the letter stated.

In 2017, Ghana lost an estimated $50 million to saiko operations alone. Putting an end to saiko will support the achievement of SDG 14 (Life below water), alleviate poverty in coastal communities, support food security and provide social justice for the fishers that are being pushed out of fisheries because they cannot compete with the might of the industrial trawlers.

“More than ever, coastal livelihood needs to be safeguarded to ensure that families become less vulnerable to crisis as we have seen in the recent Covid-19 pandemic. We need a strong commitment to end saiko and secure the livelihood of 2.7 million Ghanaians that is being threatened by the practice.” Stated Kofi Agbogah, the Director of Hen Mpoano, in support of the call to end Saiko.

Securing Child Rights in the Fisheries Sector (SECRIFISE)

Securing Child Rights in the Fisheries Sector (SECRIFISE)

This is a three-year project funded by the European Union and implemented by Hen Mpoano, CEWEFIA and Challenging Heights. The overall objective is to secure child rights in the fisheries sector by increasing public support for eliminating child labour and trafficking (CLaT), supporting the enforcement of anti-CLaT legislation and implementing community-based initiatives for integrating CLaT victims in mainstream society.

We aim to accomplish this by:

  • promoting the adoption of positive attitudes and behaviour towards the elimination of CLaT in the fisheries sector 
  • support enforcement of anti-CLaT legislation by strengthening state institutions along the prosecutorial chain as well as institutions in CLaT source communities in the Central region and receiving communities along the Volta lake
  • strengthen the effective and evidenced-based system for rescuing, rehabilitating and monitoring vulnerable children and linking them to state protection services
  • improved business development services for households susceptible to CLaT. 

Over the next three years, Hen Mpoano, CEWEFIA and Challenging Heights will work with five coastal districts (Efutu, Awutu Senya, Gomoa West, Abura Asebu Kwamankese and Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem) in the central region and six districts (North Dayi, South Dayi, North Tongu, South Tongu, Pru and Keta) along southern Lake Volta. Through these efforts, we hope to protect the future of children by securing their rights to a better life. 

Hen Mpoano gives cross-sectoral responses to Covid-19 pandemic in coastal communities in Ghana’s Western Region

Hen Mpoano gives cross-sectoral responses to Covid-19 pandemic in coastal communities in Ghana’s Western Region

Hen Mpoano  is working in collaboration with district health directorates, as well as population health and environment (PHE) champions,  to strengthen community resilience  amidst Covid-19 pandemic in remote small-scale fishing and coastal communities in Ghana. Currently it is working in communities in the Western Region. These communities include Adelekazo, Eziom, Ajomoro Eshiem, Kukuaville and Sanwoma in the Nzema East and Ellembelle districts.

Working in collaboration with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project over the past few years, Hen Mpoano has supported these communities to develop sound estuarine fisheries management practices and sustainable management of adjacent mangrove ecosystems. Furthermore, through Hen Mpoano’s interventions, trust and relationships have been established between district health services and PHE volunteers. Unfortunately, as the Covid-19 pandemic takes its toll on these communities, their natural resources will likely witness pressures of harvesting as they are the only sources of survival for these remote and poor communities.

According to the Deputy Director of Hen Mpoano, Stephen Kankam, ‘’we just have to understand that these communities already are constrained in terms of health care access and delivery because they are located within some of the remotest parts of Ghana and the physical barriers against access to healthcare means that within the framework of the Covid-19 pandemic,  it will even be crucial to receive the necessary support and services to ensure that their health system is resilient going into the future.” One of the key constraints of these communities,  he said, was that given that Covid-19 was disrupting the market and supply chains of the livelihoods of residents in these communities.

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Esiama Community Health Nurses Training College Gets New Pregnancy Simulation Machine

Esiama Community Health Nurses Training College Gets New Pregnancy Simulation Machine

Fisheries and coastal governance NGO, Hen Mpoano has presented a set of medical training equipment including a pregnancy simulation machine to the Community Health Nurses Training College, Esiama.

The equipment which also included a nicotomy bed and an artificial uterus for medical training purposes was presented to the institution during the launch of Population, Health and Environment (PHE) Project, a new initiative by Hen Mpoano at the Nzema East Municipal Assembly.

Receiving the donation, the Principal of Esiama CHNTC, Cecilia Andoh said the new equipment will boost practical demonstrations to better equip trainee nurses with relevant skills for the prevention of maternal and neonatal mortalities. Read more

Gender analysis: Ghana’s Artisanal Fisheries 2019

Gender analysis: Ghana’s Artisanal Fisheries 2019

In Ghana, fishing is a highly gender-segregated occupation with fishermen catching and landing the fresh fish, and women taking responsibility for processing and marketing. The role of women is significant because they add value to fresh fish through processing, while distributing and preserving fish to ensure its availability long after the peak season and allowing it to reach consumers far from the landing beach. Policymakers, however, often fail to take these roles into account during the policy-making process.

Despite the dominant role of women in financing fishing expeditions and in the post-harvest sector (processing, marketing and sale of the catch), their contributions to the fisheries sector are often overlooked or minimized. They are often left out of technical and capacity-building initiatives, community consultations and fisheries management decision-making processes because most women still constitute the majority of the marginalized population within the sector. The most marginalized groups in Ghana’s artisanal fisheries sector are those that do not own fisheries-related inputs, such as boats, engines, nets and processing equipment. Contributing to their marginalization is that many are temporary or long-term migrants without access to secure land tenure. Many men and women also lack access to savings and micro credit. This reduces their opportunities to move into other livelihoods during lean fishing periods and may contribute, indirectly, to the use of unsustainable fishing methods. Read more

Roundtable discussion

Roundtable discussion

The aim of the roundtable was to bring together decision makers and stakeholders to explore how implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) could help to address some of the challenges facing Ghana’s small-scale fisheries sector in the context of the on‐going reform of the national fisheries law framework.

 The VGGT represent an unprecedented international agreement on the governance of tenure, placing secure access to land, fisheries and forests firmly in the context of food security. The Guidelines set out international best practices for strengthening land tenure and resource rights as a strategy to prevent conflict, empower women and reduce food insecurity.  Together with the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small‐scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) and drawing on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the VGGT provide comprehensive guidance to governments, civil society and the private sector, on how to promote responsible governance of tenure of fisheries resources in line with international best practice, and an authoritative point of reference for states amending or adopting laws on these issues. Read more