The inauguration lecture was held at the Centre for African Wetlands auditorium and was graced by various stakeholders in International maritime institutions, including the University of Ghana Vice Chancellor and the Chief Director for the ministry of fisheries and aquaculture.

This project was funded under the 10th European Development Fund and was implemented by Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA). The project  sought to utilize Earth Observation (EO) data and information to improve management of the environment and security in Africa.

Under this project, geospatial maps of potential fishing grounds integrated with vessel traffic will be provided to decision-makers to aid monitoring, control and surveillance against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. Also, the station would forecast ocean condition to mariners and artisanal fishers via SMS and other media.

The University of Ghana as the Regional Implementation Centre (RIC) will collaborate with 14 Countries in the regions (Benin, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) and some key institutions.

Mrs. Gifty Mahama Biyira, the Chief Director for the ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, who read a speech on behalf of the minister bemoaned the illegal, unreported and unregulated  fishing practices that have become rampant today. She said pledged her government’s  resolve to do away with these problems facing the countries maritime industry.

“Currently, the ministry is implementing a marine-fisheries management plan (2015-2019), and some of the measures entail a two-month  closed fishing season for tuna vessels and industrial trawlers. The benefit of the closed season is to reduce  pressure and increase the sure recovery of depleted stock. We also intend to equip and train the fisheries enforcement unit so as to discharge their duties effectively” she remarked.

The satellites provide information on wave height, sea surface temperature amount of chlorophyll, sea current direction as well as course of fishing vessels. These information is interpreted at the control centre to predict sea conditions for fishermen and also help stakeholders and management take well informed decisions.

By Calvin Gyasi

source:enaghana.com / legonconnect.com