Incorporate marginalized voices in ocean protection policies

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Oceanic Whitetip
Saved From Shark Finning Is Oceanic Whitetip

Professor Benjamin Kofi Nyarko, Country Director of One Ocean Hub (OOH) Project Ghana, has called on policy- makers to ensure that the voices of the marginalized are incorporated in policies that govern the Ocean.

Prof. Nyarko made the call at an awareness creation forum at Winneba on Human Rights issues organized by OOH for some selected women fish processors drawn from Apam and Effutu with sponsorship from the United Kingdom (UK) Government.

It built the capacity of fish processors and fishmongers in the two communities to network and join forces to have a strong voice for policymakers to address their concerns.

The One Ocean Hub is a Global Organization led by the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK) with 18 partner organizations seeking the transformation of the urgent challenges facing the Ocean and helping influence decisions and practices that shape the future of the ocean and promote sustainability and justice.

The research seeks to bridge current disconnections in law, science, policy and integrate communities, particularly women and children, most of whom relied on the oceans for their livelihoods, to help inform decisions based on multiple values and knowledge systems.

Prof. Nyarko stated that the ocean was under various forms of pressure in respect of climate change and pollution but trying to understand some of the problems that brought pressure into the ocean were disjointed.

The organization, therefore, brought together researchers to help them to understand the ocean holistically and to gather evidence for policy purposes, he said.

“Our 126 researchers are specifically addressing challenges and opportunities in South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Fiji and Solomon Islands through collaborative and Trans-disciplinary research.”

He urged the participants to make good use of the knowledge and skills acquired by coming out with fruitful suggestions and ideas to ensure that their well-being was included in policies to help protect the ocean.

Mr Nettesheim Kwame Damoah, Zonal director of Fisheries Commission, explained that the low involvement of local communities in fisheries management planning and decision making, open access to fisheries resources and low level of awareness and education on the implications of using unauthorized methods and unapproved gears in fishing, demanded co-management of the ocean.

Despite efforts by the Fisheries Commission and Ministry of Fisheries to put an end to illegal fishing in the country, the same people who were calling on the government to stop illegal practices were the ones engaged in it, he said.

Dr Bolanle-Erinosho and Dr Harrison Kwame Golo in charge of Legal and Human Rights issues of the One Ocean project respectively, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the plight of women must be addressed by policies to improve their well-being

Mrs Adiza Ama Owusu, Chief Executive Officer of Hen Mpoano (Our Coast), noted that inclusive and integrated management of Ghana’s coastal and marine ecosystems must be done through knowledge transfer, research training, networking and advocacy.

Other facilitators, schooled the participants on their activities and the need for them to contribute immensely towards the sustainability of the fishing industry and the protection of the ocean.

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