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Depletion Of Ghana’s Natural Resource Worrying – World Bank   
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THE World Bank says it is worried over the manner in which Ghana is depleting its natural resource wealth and therefore “missing opportunities for economic transformation.”

Ghana’s fish resources heavily overexploited-World Bank
World Bank Country Director in Ghana, Mr Henry Kerali warned that Ghana was fast depleting its fish resources , blaming the poor resource management for the situation.

“Lack of effective management of the resources has resulted in depletion of the fish stock, with little returns for investment in management and value addition,” Mr Kerali said at the launch of the fifth Flamingo awards of Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) in Accra on Tuesday.

According to him, many industrialized and developed countries had depended on the exploration and extraction of minerals as the basis for their economic developed.

Mr Kerali called for the sustainable management of the country’s fish resources “by implementing the Fisheries Management Plan for 2015-2019) to rebuild the resource.”

The World Bank Boss was speaking on the theme for “Towards better management of natural resources for inclusive growth and development, “for Fisheries sector, a major source of livelihood

The fisheries sector generates over $1billion in revenue each year and accounts for at least 4.5 per cent of Ghana's GDP.

The sector provides livelihood for an estimated 10 per cent of the population representing about 2.5million people who are employed directly or indirectly including their dependants.

Ghana’s natural resources worth 20% of GDP, 60% of jobs
The Bank maintained that natural resources are critical for Ghana’s economic growth, jobs and poverty alleviation, stressing that “activities based on land, water, forest and fisheries resources contribute more than 20 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 60 per cent of jobs, including 53 per cent of women’s jobs.”

To achieve inclusive growth, good natural resource management was critical, the Bank noted.

Govt freezes August fishing activities
Not oblivious of the gravity of the issues on fisheries, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye said on Tuesday that “the president has directed that fishing for all fleets – with the exception of the tuna fleet – should be closed for one month beginning August 2018.”

Government, she said had noted with concern the grievous and precarious situation and circumstances around the fisheries sector and intended to implement policies and enforcement mechanisms that will restore fisheries to its former glory.

Madam Afoley Quaye explained that the decision followed findings from the Scientific and Technical Working Group (STWG) which showed that small pelagic fish in the country, popularly known as Keta Schoolboys as well as Sardinella and Mackerel, are heavily overfished – which could lead to total depletion of the species by 2020 if fishing efforts are maintained at the present rate.

“Over the last two decades, the fisheries sector has seen a massive decline and appears to be heading toward a total collapse. The sector is faced with a crisis of overcapacity and overfishing of all stocks. This is compounded by various illegal fishing practices called Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing,” she said.

“A person who engages in fishing during a declared closed season commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than US$500,000 and not more than US$2million in respect of a local, industrial or semi-industrial vessel; or 100 penalty units and not more than 500 penalty units in any other case,” she warned.

In addition, she said the law states that any catch, fishing gear, vessel or any combination of these used in breaching the regulation may be forfeited to the state.

The minster assured that during the period security forces and enforcement agencies, including marine police, navy and the fisheries enforcement unit, will be deployed to enforce the law and apprehend any offenders.
Source: The Finder

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