Dixcove (W/R), April 21, GNA – The Fisheries Commission has organised a training programme for fish processors and traders on the use of the « Ahotor Oven » to ensure hygienic handling of fish till it gets to the final consumer.
The training was organised at Dixcove in the Ahanta-West District of the Western Region for 30 fish processors and traders selected from Jomoro, Ellembelle, Nzema-East, Ahanta-West and Shama districts, and the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly in the Western Region.
It is to ensure food security and boost the fishing industry as part of sustainable fisheries project by the Government to streamline activities in the industry.
It also formed part of an action plan to reduce the pressure on the fish stock by educating fishers to avoid practices that depleted the stock and introducing them to alternative livelihoods to boost their income.
The training was held in collaboration with the National Fish Processing and Traders Association and sponsored by the World Bank, o0n the theme: »Business-Oriented Fish Processing and Marketing for Sustainable Fisheries and Livelihoods ».
Mr Alex Sabah, the Western Regional Director of the Fisheries Commission, who opened the training, said the national average consumption of fish was 23kg per annum, which put a drain on the country’s fish stock.
The fishing industry contributes to Gross Domestic Product and improves the health of Ghanaians but the decline in the country’s fish stock has been a source of concern.
Mr Sabah attributed the decline partly to fishers who fished fingerlings, which had low nutritional value, and urged the enforcement unit of the Commission to re-double its efforts to stem the tide.
Mr Theodore Kwadjosse, a Senior Fisheries Officer, speaking on the topic; Fisheries Regulations – The Role of Fish Processors and Traders in Enforcement, said fish processing was very important within the fish food production chain.
He expressed worry that fisher folks were depleting the stock through light fishing and using undersized nets, adding that the Fisheries Act 625 prohibits such acts.
He appealed to fish processors to embrace the Ahotor Oven as it offered more market opportunities and less health risks with less firewood, less smoke, greener mangroves and forests, as well as high quality smoked fish, which improved the health of consumers.
Madam Yaa Tiwaah Amoah, A Fisheries Officer at the Post-Harvest Unit of the Fisheries Commission, said the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development had developed an action plan to train more masons to build the Ahotor Oven.
The Deputy Group Officer at the Ghana National Fire Service in the Ahanta-West District, DGO Grace Cudjoe, in a simulation exercise, educated the participants on safety measures to avoid fire outbreaks in the course of smoking fish.
21 April 18