Costal communities around Ghana are having their lives and livelihood threatened by increasing illegal fishing activities in their waters, according to the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).
The threat is so high that it presents a breach of their human rights by denying them the opportunity for adequate food and the ability to work. The findings are published in a report by EJF. The foundation urges the Ghanian government to take measures to protect its coastal communities.
The main culprit is industrial trawlers that are overfishing and using illegal practices to target and compete for fish stocks that are usually the domain of small-scale fishers. Responses to research by the EJF showed that over 70% of respondents had experienced a reduction in income and living conditions.
According to Environmental Justice Foundation founder Steve Trent:
“The fundamental human rights to decent work and an adequate standard of living are under threat in Ghanaian fishing communities. The government must account for and remedy any infringements of these rights. The planned reform of Ghana’s fisheries law framework provides an opportunity to establish a clear and unequivocal legal basis to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of small-scale fishing communities while ensuring environmental security and sustainability.”