Ghana’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has opened this year’s 7th Meeting of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific State Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture (OACPS) at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra.
The 4-day OACPS Meeting is on the theme, “OACPS Blue Economy Agenda 2030 – Catalyzing Sustainable and Aquaculture Development for the Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in OACPS Countries.”
Seventy-nine (79) member States are represented at the meeting, from sector including policy-makers, practitioners and professionals within the fisheries and aquaculture sector to deliberate on how to protect marine life and utilize its resources for national development.
The Assistant Secretary-General of the OACPS, Ms. Cristelle Pratt, said the meeting would provide guidance for the OACPS in their engagements of multilateral processes at the global level, which have direct bearing on the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture.
She said members would table 10 policy issues for consideration, “Fostering a common understanding and making the best use of our experiences and knowledge and learning from these is critical to realizing the full potential of the fisheries and aquaculture sector for national development,” she added.
The Hon. Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson in her keynote address said the fisheries sector plays significant roles in the member countries of OACPS, where fishes and fishery products constituted one of the most-traded food commodities for export.
“Aquaculture is considered the best alternative to help reduce the overdependence of countries on their marine fishery resources. However, aquaculture production has not been sufficient to make up for the gap between fish production and demand for fish, especially in developing countries. Factors affecting the development of aquaculture in our countries include inadequate aquaculture infrastructure, low technical capacity, high cost of inputs especially fish feed, low capacity to manage outbreaks of diseases, and weak enforcement of regulatory measures.” She added.
This 7th OACPS meeting has the exhibitions of everything fisheries and aquaculture which is being supervised by Agrihouse Foundation, and aimed at creating more opportunities for marketing and networking among stakeholders.