Ghana makes progress in the fight against IUU fishing

By Stop Illegal Fishing:30th Jan, 2017: Securing convictions · Vessel identity · West Africa Task Force

Recent measures introduced in Ghana are offering stronger means of fighting illegal fishing. New legislation, increased sanctions, improved monitoring, control and inspection capacity, and mandatory IMO numbers for the industrial fleet are all contributing to a more compliant sector.

With the tuna fleet already signed up for IMO numbers, Ghana’s Fisheries Commission are currently working with trawler owners and operators to facilitate the introduction of IMO numbers to these vessels. The introduction of mandatory IMO numbers enables easier identification of vessels, and reduces the use of vessel identity fraud.

Amendments to the Fisheries Act and Fisheries Regulations incorporate provisions on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, including raising the minimum penalty for IUU fishing offences to USD 1 million from USD 100,000.

Mr Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu, Head of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance in Ghana stated, “Raising the minimum penalty for fisheries offences will remove the economic incentive and create an effective deterrent for potential offenders, and to ensure that the fisheries resources are exploited sustainably.”

The legal amendments also consider the issues of registration and delisting of vessels, and the declaration of vessel histories by owners, and incorporated aspects of the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing (PSMA), which Ghana ratified in November 2016.

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