Ghana's Fish Exports Risk Being Banned Over Illegal Fishing Methods

Ghana's Fish Exports Risk Being Banned Over Illegal Fishing Methods

  • Ghana's fish exports risk a European Union ban over illegal fishing practices, according to a report by IWatch Africa
  • The country has already been issued a yellow card for engaging in unwholesome fishing methods
  • Dr Angela Lamptey says if the country gets banned by the EU it will hit the economy hard as other countries will follow suit

Dr Angela Lamptey, a senior lecturer at the Department of Marine and Fisheries Science at the University of Ghana, has cautioned Ghanaian fishers against using illegal fishing methods.

She noted that the persistent use of illegal fishing methods puts Ghana at risk of facing a European Union ban on fish exports.

Ghana's Fish Exports Risk Being Banned Over Illegal Fishing Methods
Dr Angela Lamptey revealed that Ghana already has a yellow card from the EU.
Source: Getty Images

Dr Lamptey revealed that Ghana has already been issued a yellow card, implying that the country practices unwholesome fishing methods that harm consumers and the environment.

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The country has also been cited as having a laxed monitoring system and legal regime, making it unable to sanitise the fishing industry.

She expressed fears that if the EU banned the country, other trading partners would follow suit and ban fish exports from Ghana, affecting the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

Dr Angela Lamptey made these comments during a stakeholder meeting between Iwatch Africa and coastal communities in Ghana.

Iwatch has published a report on happenings within Ghana’s fishing industry.

According to Dr Lamptey, the report is meant to help the sector address its challenges and reverse the trend.

She urged stakeholders to unite and better the industry.

Chinese dominate Ghana’s fishing industry

An IWatch report revealed that about 80% of Ghana’s fishing industry is owned by foreigners, many of whom are Chinese.

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It revealed that many of these foreigners operate large vessels for deep-sea fishing within Ghana’s territorial waters.

Another 32% of companies in the industry are also owned or controlled by politically exposed persons.

Also, a widespread disregard for Ghana’s laws, particularly in relation to the disclosure of the status of beneficial ownership of these companies, was not declared.

This is despite the Registrar of Companies issuing several warnings.

The situation has been described as detrimental to the sector's development as influential people disproportionately benefit from perpetuating the illegality.

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The Commission said the language barrier prevents the Chinese nationals from making pleas and testifying in their trials, leading to the cases often being dismissed.

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The Commission also revealed it is under-resourced to protect the country's forests.


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Cornerlis Affre (CA and Politics Editor) Cornerlis Kweku Affre is at present a Current Affairs Editor at He covers politics, business, and other current affairs. He has worked in various roles in the media space for at least 5 years. You can reach out to him at