In Ghana, we examine the relationships and trade-offs between the various fisheries sub-sectors and the role of heritage and ecotourism in building sustainable livelihoods.

Fisherwoman sorting catch at a fish market in Elmina, Ghana. Photo: Shutterstock

In Ghana, fish products are a primary source of protein, and artisanal fishing is responsible for over 70% of fish landings. Defined as a fleet of low- or unpowered wooden canoes, this sector employs over 60% women and youth, and is essential to coastal communities.

The artisanal fishers target anchovies, mackerel and sardines. These fish stocks are facing particular pressures from pollution, overexploitation, use of destructive fishing methods, and competition from the industrial and semi-industrial sectors. Illegal fishing also poses a significant threat to coastal communities. It has been estimated that Ghana’s fish stocks could disappear within five years. This places already vulnerable fishing communities at greater risk of poverty and food insecurity.  

To address these challenges, our research aims to co-develop ecosystem-based management tools, informed by artisanal fisher views, to support authorities and communities to sustainably manage marine resources while balancing multiple sectors of ocean use.

Inclusive implementation requires that the legal framework is pluralistic, accounting also for communities’ customary laws, their knowledge and rights. In addition, support is needed for communities in identifying supplementary livelihoods. Towards achieving this, we work directly with fisher communities, Government and other relevant authorities to co-develop solutions and enhance capacities to implement them.  

350 miles
Coastline along the Gulf of Guinea
Women and youth employed by artisanal fishing industry
Dollar cost of illegal fishing by foreign trawlers per year

Latest news & blogs from Ghana

Customary Laws of the Coast and Sea Research Group – The Story So Far (Part One)

The Customary Laws of the Coast and Sea Research Group formed in 2020 as a means to bring together One Ocean Hub researchers interested in customary laws within an ocean governance context.

Customary Laws of the Coast and Sea Research Group – The Story So Far (Part Two)

This is Part Two of the Customary Laws of the Coast and Sea Research Group – The Story So Far series.

Meet our researcher: Georgina Yaa Oduro

Dr. Georgina Yaa Oduro is a Sociologist with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. She also doubles as the Director of the University’s Gender Centre (CEGRAD). She uses creative research methodologies to explore the voices of local people in the areas of gender, sexualities, youth cultures, mixed-race […]