The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has announced it will host the 7th Meeting of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture (OACPS) in Accra this year.
The 7th OACPS meeting, which is slated for April 5 to 8, 2022, would host 79 member States, represented by their policy-makers, practitioners, and professionals within the fisheries and aquaculture sector, to deliberate on protecting marine life and utilize its resources for national development. The theme for the meeting is “OACPS Blue Economy Agenda 2020: Catalyzing the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for the Future.”
Madam Frema Osei Opare, the Chief of Staff, who launched the meeting, said the fisheries sector contributes significantly to job creation, poverty reduction, food and nutrition, and the economy’s Gross Domestic Product. Fish as a food, she said, contributed to 60 percent of annual protein intake and served as a source of livelihood for three million people working along the coast, according to a 2019 report.
“The establishment of the OACPS was to ensure that fishery resources are utilized and managed well to ensure sustainability and development of the sector. The selection of Ghana out of 48 African countries of OACPS that qualified to host the 7th Meeting was an opportunity that the country had to take advantage of to consolidate its role in the sector to promote socio-economic development.”Madam Frema Osei Opare- Chief of Staff
Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development said the meeting will enable the ministry to focus its attention and energies on measures to harness the benefits of the Blue Economy.
“The meeting would allow us to improve the socio-economic safety of fishing communities while addressing activities that threaten the ocean and the environment, including illegal fishing and plastic pollution. The above could only be achieved by collaborating with all stakeholders managing the fishery and aquaculture resources; I wish, therefore, to call on Corporate Ghana and the resource users to support the Ministry to host this important meeting successfully, and I trust that we will benefit from the shared experiences of participants in the Meeting in addressing some of the critical challenges confronting the fisheries sector in Ghana.”Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson- Minister of Fisheries And Aquaculture Development
The President of the National Fisheries Association of Ghana, Mr. Simon Agah, said the meeting would allow participants to follow up on policies and promote good monitoring and evaluation strategies for poverty alleviation among member states.
OACPS role in the fisheries sector
The Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly known as African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP is an organization created by the George Town Agreement in 1975 comprising 79 States from three (3) Regional Blocs namely Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. The OACPS harness fisheries as a major economic potential for sustainable development for workers in the sector.
The OACPS ensures the sustainable development of its Member-States and their gradual integration into the global economy, which entails making poverty reduction a matter of priority and establishing a new, fairer, and more equitable world order; coordination of the activities of the OACPS in the framework of the implementation of ACP-EC Partnership Agreements; consolidation of unity and solidarity among Members of the OACPS, as well as understanding among their peoples; and establishment and consolidation of peace and stability in a free and democratic society.