Professor Wisdom Akpalu
Professor Wisdom Akpalu

Ghana's second 'Yellow Card' self-inflicted - Prof. Akpalu

The Director of the Environment and Natural Resource Research Initiative (ENRRI – EfD Ghana), Professor Wisdom Akpalu, is of the view that Ghana has been flagged with 'Yellow card' for the second time by the European Union because the country did not allow its fisheries laws to work.

For him, it is sad that in spite of the many calls and cautions by the various fisheries experts and civil society organisations for the country to apply its fisheries laws against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices, institutions overseeing the sector failed to do so, hence attracting a yellow card.

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Prof Akpalu, who is also a Natural Resource Economist was speaking to Graphic Online on the sidelines of a one-day stakeholder engagements on the ‘Emerging issues on capture fisheries management in Ghana’ held at the School of Research and Graduate Studies (SRGS) at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.

He was of the opinion that if the country's fisheries laws had been strictly applied, Ghana would not have received a second yellow card.

Background

Ghana was on June 2, 2021 issued with a Yellow Card by the European Union (EU). This is because Ghana was identified by the EU as a non-cooperating third party state in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU).

Ghana first received a Yellow Card in 2013 and was lifted in 2015 when the country introduced some reforms in the fisheries sector to tackle the menace.

However, the issues raised by the EU for the second Yellow Card included inadequacies in the area of legal framework to fight IUU; illegal trans-shipment at sea of large quantities of undersized juvenile pelagic species between industrial trawl vessels and canoes on Ghanaian waters; expired Marine Fisheries Management Plan (2015-2019); expired National Plan of Action to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU (NPOA-IUU)-2014-2018; deficiencies in the monitoring, control and surveillance of the fleet; as well as lack of deterrent sanctions imposed on vessels engaging in or supporting IUU fishing activities on Ghanaian waters.

Prof. Akpalu, however, was hopeful that Ghana could easily come out of the yellow card should the country allow its fisheries laws to work without any interventions.

ENRRI – EfD Ghana

The Environment and Natural Resource Research Initiative (ENRRI – EfD Ghana) is one of the 15 centres under the Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative, which contributes to the sustainable management of natural resources through capacity development, policy-relevant research and policy engagement.

EfD Ghana brings together accomplished researchers with varied expertise in environmental economics from Ghana and elsewhere to conduct evidence-based research, and advise government and development partners on policy options for managing the environment and scarce natural resources.

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