Algal bloom off the western coast of Ghana is threatening fishing livelihoods in the affected coastal communities, a Ghanaian official told Xinhua in an interview.
Mike Abakah-Edu, the regional secretary of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen’s Council (GNCFC), said the invasion of sargassum, brownish seaweeds of the algae family, is taking a heavy toll on the trade and incomes of the fishermen in the region.
“It is in not only one community, but stretches from Newtown, near the boundary with Cote d’Ivoire, to the eastern end of the western coast-line at Shama town,” said Abakah-Edu.
The GNCFC official said the invasion, which started about 12 years ago, keeps increasing in volume except for a few years and affects the whole fishery, adding the seaweeds also destroyed or damaged the fishing gear such as the nets and outboard motors, increasing their maintenance cost.
Anthony Acquah, a fisherman at the Apewosika Beach in Axim, west of the Western regional capital of Takoradi, said the situation was getting out of hand and killing the fishing trade along the western coast of Ghana.
“When the seaweeds crash into our nets, we spend about a month cleaning and repairing the affected nets, all of which time, we cannot go fishing, and our families starve,” said Acquah, who called for the government to take immediate steps to find a lasting solution to the menace. Enditem