Ghana is located on the West coast
of Africa between latitudes 4oN and latitudes 3oW and 1°E.
It is bounded by Burkina Faso and the north, Cote d’voire
on the west, Togo on the east and on the south by the Gulf
With a coastline of nearly 550km long, the total land area
of Ghana is 238,527 sq.km (i.e. 92,100 sq. Miles) and the
area of the continental shelf is about 24,000sq.km.
The Volta River basin (including Lake Volta, the largest
man-made lake in Africa) dominates the country’s riverine
Contribution of Fisheries to Agriculture
Agriculture is the dominant sector of the Ghanaian employing
about 60% of the labour force Agriculture (predominantly smallholder,
traditional and rain-fed) contributes 45-50 of the GDP and
about 75% of export earnings of Ghana. The fisheries sub-sector
accounts for 5% of the country’s agricultural GDP.
With a per capita consumption of about 25 kg per annum, fish
is a preferred source of animal protein in Ghana. Fish is
expected to contribute 60% of animal protein intake of Ghanaians.
About 75% of the total domestic production of fish is consumed
locally. The fishing industry in Ghana is based on resources
from the marine and inland (freshwater) sectors, coastal lagoons
Fish farming is relatively new to Ghanaian but its practice
is becoming widespread in many parts of the country. There
are about 1,000 fish farmers and over 2000 ponds with a total
surface area of about 350 ha.
Total annual production from aquaculture currently stands
at about 1000 MT only.
Fish are cultured semi-intensively in earthen ponds either
as monoculture of tilapia or polyculture of tilapia and catfish.
Cage culture in ponds has recently been introduced and is
being practised on one commercial fish farm. Pen culture with
tilapia, recently introduced in the Keta lagoon, has been
Shrimp/prawn farming has not caught on in Ghana even though
research has shown that there is a great potential for commercial
farming of he local shrimp species, Penaeus notialis and P.kerathurus
The Government has taken some measures to accelerate the
development of fish farming in Ghana. A crawlerdozer has been
acquired for the Ashanti Fish Farmers Association (FFA); to
be paid for on hire purchase and a modern hatchery has been
established near Kumasi to provide good quality fish fingerlings
to fish farmers.
Post harvest utilization of landing is a topical issue in
Ghana. Efforts are being made to improve the traditional methods
of smoking, salting and drying.
There are two large tune canneries in Ghana – the Pioneer
Food Cannery and the Ghana-Agro Food Company; these are located
in Tema. Products from these plants go to European Union (EU)
countries, USA, other African countries and domestic markets.
Fish is Ghana’s most important non-traditional export
commodity. In 2002,
Export earnings form fish and fishery product amounted to
nearly US$ 96million. The export destination is mainly EU
Fish and seafood exports from Ghana are made up of tuna (whole,
loins and canned), frozen fish (mostly demersal species),
shrimps, lobsters, cuttlefish and dried/smoked fish.
Fisheries Administration and Management
The Directorate’s of Fisheries of the Ministry of Food
and Agriculture is responsible for policy formulation and
implementation, management and control of the fishing industry
under the general guidance and direction of a Minister of
State for Fisheries Commission. The Fisheries Commission advises
the Minister in all matters pertaining to the industry
The Directorate’s mission “ ….is to promote
sustainable exploitation and responsible utilization of fishery
resources of Ghana through sound management practices, research,
appropriate technological development for both culture and
capture fisheries, effective extension and provision of other
support services to fish farmers, fishermen, fish processors
and traders for improved income and fish food security”.
The functions of the Directorate are summarized as follows
i. To prepare and keep under continual review, plans for the
management and development of marine and freshwater capture
fisheries and aquaculture;
ii. To carry out research for the assessment for fisheries
iii. To ensure that monitoring, control and surveillance of
the fishery waters of Ghana.
The Directorate has five operational divisions for Marine
Fisheries Management. Inland Fisheries Management (and Aquaculture),
Marine Fisheries Research, Monitoring, Control and Surveillance
and Finance and Administration.
The current Fisheries Law (Act 625 of 2002) provides for
the integration of the Directorate of Fisheries and the Fisheries
Commission for the regulation and management of the utilization
of fisheries resources of Ghana and coordination of the policies
in relation to them.
A new set of Fisheries Regulations to give effect to the Fisheries
Act 625 (2002) is under preparation.