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.