Africa is a verifiably genuinely fascinating continent, and with Leyna residing there for 9 months, I am discovering it with you, one step at a time. There is so much to talk about. Today, I’d like to share with you a little piece of Leyna’s blog where she talks about the fisheries (which of course are a big part of her research in ocean conservancy) and how its sector is valuable and essential as it is related to employment, livelihood support, poverty reduction, food security₁.
These are her words.
14 September 2018. I have been spending almost every morning in Winneba on the fishing beach. It is very different than other parts of Winneba. Here, most people speak Efutu and/or Fante. Almost everyone’s livelihoods are tied to fishing in this community. The Fishing companies employ fishermen, boat owners, carpenters, painters, as well as women who buy the fish and sell it at the market. As I am watching people on the beach, it is quite lovely to see how people help each other in their daily tasks.
As I expected, the fishery operates differently than in the US. I believe that sea turtles are the main protected species in the area. Even though there are not really any regulations besides that, fishing with lights and dynamite is also illegal.
Fish of all species and ages are caught, but none are wasted here. Unlike back home, anything caught is never wasted. While that is a good thing, the fishery never closes, and since all age groups are caught, many species do not have proper time to recover. This seems to be especially true with slow-maturing fish like guitarfish and grouper, (Yes Florida peoples …. They have grouper in Ghana … 😊) where the young are caught so often that not many make it to adulthood. Therefore, the species are in decline.
Next year, there will be a fishery closure for a month when the sardinella breed. While this is a step in the right direction, one month is not enough time for the fishery to recover. But it is a tricky situation as the whole community relies on this fishery for income.
Until next time. Have a happy week. Namaste!
All photos as under Creative Commons License/Wikimedia. Thank you for sharing!