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Introduction

The Ghanaian pole and line fishery operates out of the port of Tema, Ghana, and currently has an annual catch capacity of approximately 30,000 mt. The vessels are active in Ghanaian waters and waters under the jurisdiction of Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Togo through fishing licences renewed on annual or a quarterly basis depending on the coastal States fisheries legislation. To a lesser extent, the fleet is active in the high seas.

Pole and line fishing is highly selective and the risk of catching threatened species like marine turtles, sea birds or sharks is low. The fleet catches mainly skipjack (2/3 of their total catch) and yellowfin tuna (currently around 1/3) as target species, in association with bigeye tuna. To catch tuna, the pole and line vessels use drifting fish aggregating devices (DFADs) and small pelagic fish caught in Ghanaian waters as bait.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is responsible for managing the tuna fishing industry in the Atlantic Ocean. While ICCAT has adopted certain management measures to help limit some negative impacts on tropical tuna stocks, none of the region’s tropical tuna stocks is managed under a formally adopted harvest strategy.

Project Goal

The Ghana tuna pole & line FIP has been jointly established by key governments in the region, major tuna processors, producer organisations and their fishing vessels, with the support of WWF. This FIP is a multi-stakeholder effort, and its goal is to support improvement in the management of tuna fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean so that in the future, consumers can be assured that the pole and line tuna they purchase has been harvested sustainably. The ultimate aim is to meet the standards of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

The work in the action plan includes: supporting the development of robust harvest strategies for tropical tuna, ensuring management measures are in place to maintain primary and secondary species above biological limits, providing a framework to effectively manage any ecosystem effects associated with pole and line fishing and improving overall governance and management

Read the action plan

Target species: this FIP will consider the following three pelagic tuna species as the target species: skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) and bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)

Fishing methods: This FIP will include the use of pole and line catching of individual tuna.

Fishing area: The fishing area of FAO Area 34 is part of the eastern Atlantic Ocean under the jurisdiction of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna.

Fishing fleet: The fishing fleet currently numbers 17 vessels fishing for, or on behalf of, the FIP participants. The exact nature of the fleet will be clarified as the FIP partnership evolves, and will be assessed in detail during FIP action planning. However, it is recognised that the fishing fleet might change over time if the FIP partnership is enlarged or decreased.

Participants

The participants of the Ghana pole and line FIP will provide technical, financial and other support to the fisheries to improve the sustainability of tuna fishing in the region.

Participants involved in this FIP include;

  • Thai Union Europe,
  • Cosmo Seafoods Co., Ltd,
  • Ghana Tuna Association, representing the following companies;
    • Agnes Park,
    • Asante Fisheries Co. Ltd,
    • D-H Fisheries Co. Ltd,
    • BSK Marine Ltd,
    • Trust Allied Fishing Ventures Ltd,
    • World Marine Co. Ltd,
    • Rico Fisheries Ltd,
    • Dong Sheng Co. Ltd,
    • G-L Fisheries,
  • WWF.