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Empowering Ghanaian Media Reporters and Journalists to Tackle Distant Water Fishing Issues in the Gulf of Guinea

Accra, Ghana – April 27, 2023
In a concerted effort to address the challenges posed by foreign-owned Distant Water Fishing Vessels (DWFVs) in the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana hosted a capacity-building event for media reporters and journalists. The event, which took place on April 27, 2023, aimed to equip Ghanaian media professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively monitor and report on the destructive activities of DWFVs.

The training event was conducted in-person at the AH hotel in East Legon, Accra, on April 27, 2023. It spanned from 0800 GMT to 1730 GMT, offering participants a full day of intensive learning and discussion.

Addressing the Problem
Foreign-owned DWFVs have long been a contentious issue in African countries, with approximately 97.2% of these vessels being registered under flags of convenience. Ghana has a significant presence of these vessels in its waters, resulting in challenges such as depleting fish stocks, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and the disruption of livelihoods for local artisanal fishers and others in the value chain.
The adverse effects of these vessels are not limited to Ghana but extend across the entire Gulf of Guinea. West Africa alone loses an average of about 790,000 tons of fish annually due to IUU fishing by both foreign and domestic industrial fishing vessels, leading to substantial income losses and economic impacts estimated at over $2 billion each year.

The Capacity-Building Initiative
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the capacity-building program aimed to enhance the capabilities of Ghanaian media professionals to effectively report on the negative impacts of DWFVs. Participants were provided with comprehensive training in key areas, including an overview of national and regional fisheries, Ghana’s fisheries governance, the interplay of fisheries with livelihoods and food security, the devastating effects of IUU fisheries, and the specific destabilizing influences of DWFVs in Ghanaian waters.

The training targeted a diverse group of media professionals, encompassing both electronic and print media. A total of thirty participants, representing various outlets and media organizations, took part in the program.

In summary, the capacity-building initiative for media reporters and journalists in Ghana represents a significant step forward in addressing the challenges posed by Distant Water Fishing Vessels in the Gulf of Guinea. By equipping the media with the knowledge and skills necessary to monitor and report on these issues, Ghana is taking a critical step toward greater transparency, accountability, and sustainability in its fisheries sector.

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