The activities in the marine sector range from artisana
canoe operations through inshore to industrial operations.
Both pelagic and demersal fishery resources are exploited.
Marine fisheries in Ghana are affected by a seasonal upwelling
that occurs in Ghanaian coastal waters. During upwelling
periods (December/January – February and July –
September) biological activity increases in the sea that
result in increased production of fish food and abundance
of most marine fishers. These are the fishing seasons
in Ghanaian waters as the fish becomes more available
for exploitation by the fishers during the upwelling seasons.
Nearly 10,000 canoes and 123,000 fishers (with nearly
1.5 million dependants) operate from 304 landing centres
in 189 fishing villages located
along the coast.
fishers use a wide variety of fishing gears, including
gilling and entangling nets, seine nets (purse and beach
seines), castnets and handlines, to exploit both pelagic
and demersal fish species. The fleet is responsible
for over 80% of the total annual catch of small pelagic
species (sardinellas, mackerels and anchovies).
The inshore fleet is made up of about 230 vessels, ranging
in size between 8 and 37m long, that operate both as trawlers
and purse seiners. They operate from 7centers only where
there are facilities for landing. The fleet exploits both
the small pelagic and demersal fish species.
The industrial fleet is currently made up of 40 trawlers,
7 pair trawlers 6 shrimpers, 23 tuna baitboats and 10
tuna purse seiners. The vessels operate from Tema and
Takoradi where there are deepwater ports.
The trawlers and shrimpers exploit demersal and semipelagic
species. The tuna fishing vessels catch mainly yellow
fin, skipjack and big eye tunas. Most tune vessels are
operated on joint-venture basis with Ghanaian having at
east 50% shares as required in the Fisheries Act 625 of
There are more than 50 coastal lagoons of various sizes
in Ghana. These lagoons provide an important source of
protein and other resources for the communities that live
around them. The lagoons also contribute significantly
to the diversity and status of fish stocks in coastal
waters as many fish species spend part of their life cycle
in these lagoons.
With time, the ecosystem of many
of the lagoons has changed as a result of pollution
form industries, domestic waste, urbanization and demand
for land for other purposes. The mangrove forests that
fringed many of the lagoons have been lost and the fisheries
in the lagoons are ether overexploited or threatened.
Some of the lagoons have been designated as RAMSAR sites.
The Lake Volta, reservoirs associated with irrigation
and potable water projects, and fishponds are the main
sources of freshwater fish in Ghana. Fishing in Lake Volta
(with a surface area of 8,480 km² and 5,200 km of
shoreline) contributes about 90% of the total inland fishery
production in Ghana, which is around 90,000 MT.
About 80,000 fishers and 20,000 fish processors and
traders are engaged in the Lake Volta fishery. There
are 17,500 canoes actively fishing in the Lake Volta.
The fishing gears used is cast and gill nets, hook-and
line, and traps. Then species exploited are mainly Cichlids
(38.1%), Chrysichthys spp. (34.4%) and synodontis spp
To check illegal fishing activities on the Lake Volta,
Government recently acquired a modern patrol vessel
to boost the control efforts undertaken by the Monitoring,
Control and Surveillance Division of the Directorate