International legal requirements for environmental and socio-cultural assessments for large-scale industrial fisheries

By Julia Nakamura, Daniela Diz and Elisa Morgera

“Although Ghana has ratified several relevant treaties related to the ocean, and the country recognises local communities’ customary laws as an important source of law, there is limited research on the integration of customary laws and practices into marine small-scale fisheries governance. This article addresses this gap by analysing customary law systems and practices of the various ethnic communities occupying the coastlines of the Western, Central, Greater Accra and Volta regions. Our analysis draws on the ‘respect for cultures’ principle of the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication. The article focuses on the relevance of custodianship, consensus building and empowerment norms that are operational among Ghana’s coastline ethnic groups. The article concludes with a research and policy agenda on the importance of and challenges around recognising and integrating coastal communities’ customary law into marine small-scale fisheries governance in Ghana…”

Header photo: Derek Zimmerman