FiTI categorizes Ghana as poor performer on fisheries transparency

Ghana Deputy Fisheries Minister Moses Anim.

The Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) has rated Ghana as a poor performer in marine fisheries transparency.

FiTI, an international, multistakeholder partnership that promotes transparency and participation in fisheries governance, has been performing country-by-country studies via the Taking Stock assessment series, which provides investigative analysis highlighting where their fishery transparency efforts currently stand.

The report, “Taking Stock: Online Transparency of Fisheries Management Information in Ghana, released on 24 April, 2023, found Ghana lags in several aspects of fishery transparency behind other African countries, including Mauritania, Cape Verde, and the Seychelles, where FiTI is based. Its poor ranking is mainly because a majority of data required for open and inclusive fisheries management remains inaccessible to both domestic and international seafood value-chain stakeholders, according to FiTI.

The report found there is evidence Ghanaian authorities collect and collate considerable information on the country's fisheries sector, including detailed information on both small- and large-scale fisheries, as well as the post-harvest sector. However, the government has not “prioritized sharing this information with the public,” FiTI said.

“Our assessment showed that, for example, the [Ghana] Fisheries Commission produces an annual report, but this is only distributed in hard copies,” FiTI Executive Director Sven Biermann said. “This is not seen as sufficient from a transparency point of view, as not all fisheries stakeholders – in particular those outside of the capital – may receive such information or are even aware of it.”

The study reported that 58 percent of 39 evaluated transparency elements, such as the enforcement of labor standards and fisheries management plans, within Ghana have “no public access,” 15 percent have “weak public access,” 15 percent have a classification as “not produced,” 9 percent have “moderate access,” and a mere 3 percent have “strong public access.”

Biermann said the government of Ghana, which he does not consider to be “data-deficient,” stands to benefit immensely from disseminating the data via online media, such as government websites, “given the country’s high internet usage...

Photo courtesy of Environmental Justice Foundation

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