But the figures are startling. United Nations data shows that production fell from almost 420,000 tonnes in 1999 to 202,000 tonnes in 2014. To blame are both the mainly Chinese-operated boats trawling offshore and the damaging practices employed by artisanal fishermen as they scramble to make up for losses.
The report estimated some 100,000 tonnes of fish were scooped out of the water in this way in 2017, drastically reducing employment opportunities for Ghanaians reliant on fishing. Ghana is looking to crack down on saiko as well as illegal practices employed by local fishermen including using bright lights to attract fish, poisoning them with chemicals or even tossing dynamite into the water.
In a bid to replenish stocks the government banned artisanal fishing for a month in 2019. But even those in charge admit a lot more needs to be done to rectify the situation.
Story for AFP, Words by Stacey Knott