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Problems of Artisanal Marine Fishermen in Ghana: The Way Ahead

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Abstract:

Marine fishing is an important traditional economic activity of the coastal communities in Ghana and contributes over 80 per cent of the total fish catch. The traditional sector accounts for over 75 per cent of the marine catch. The small-scale artisanal marine fishing communities, which contribute less than 30 per cent of the traditional sector landings, are generally characterised by low levels of production and, hence, low incomes, poor living conditions and chronic indebtedness. Based on field data on artisanal fishing communities in the Ahanta West and Gomoa districts, this paper summarises the chronic problems of artisanal fishermen that perpetuate their precarious existence in the coastal environment. Overcoming the problems of these increasingly marginalised and migrant communities calls for the provision of supplementary employment opportunities, improved social services and the formation of solidarity groups to enhance access to micro credit. These would require technical and management training as well as support services from government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Keywords: Ghana; common property resources; debt burdens; marginalised communities; seasonal unemployment; small-scale marine fishery

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9493.00126

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, 2: Department of Geography and Tourism, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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