Home Headlines Norwegian Research Vessel and Fisheries Ministry Commemorate World Ocean Day

Norwegian Research Vessel and Fisheries Ministry Commemorate World Ocean Day

Science Vessel Research
Science Vessel Research

The crew of the Norwegian Research Vessel, R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, has commemorated the 2024 World Oceans Day, which catalyses collective action for a healthy ocean and a stable climate. 

The World Oceans Day was first declared on 8th June,1992 in Rio de Janeiro at the Global Forum, a parallel event at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.

This provided an opportunity for non-government organizations and civil society to express their views on environmental issues.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO) and other stakeholders were part of the commemoration of the 2024 World Oceans Day.

The research vessel has docked at the Tema part as part of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF-Nansen Programme), which is committed to improving fisheries management, strengthening the capacities of fisheries institutions, and generating scientific knowledge on marine resources and ecosystems.

It will dock in Ghana for 30 days to conduct marine ecosystem survey to determine the country’s fish stock levels and other related issues.

The Vessel, owned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), is equipped for operations in developing coastal countries across Africa and Asia, with the primary duties of ecosystem studies with a focus on fishery research operations.

Ghana has been a long-standing partner in the Nansen programme, with the first survey in the country taking place in 1981.

The country has benefited from over 18 surveys to strengthen and develop fisheries management systems and capacity development.

Mr David Phiri, the Special Adviser to the FAO Africa Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative, said the collaboration of the FAO with Norway commenced in 1975 to enhance fisheries research to ensure sustainability.

There have been three Norwegian vessels to carry the name of Dr Fridtjof Nansen, an oceanographer, which are state-of-the-art floating laboratories for undertaking research in the West Coast of Africa and Asia.

Mr Phiri said as the world celebrated the Ocean Day, there was the need to create awareness for sustainable fisheries globally, as the ocean provided a source of livelihood and food for many.

Mr Abdul-Aziz Ayaba Musah, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said Ghana’s marine waters were rich with fisheries resources that must be exploited sustainably to benefit the people and promote the common good.

“The sector significantly contributes to Ghana’s developmental agenda, provides employment, boosts gross domestic product, ensures food and nutritional security, and increases foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

Science Vessel Research
Science Vessel Research

However, the fisheries sector faced challenges, including illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices, climate change, marine habitat destruction, and pollution from plastics and industrial waste, Mr Mush said.

The practice had led to the overexploitation of fisheries resources, depletion of fish species, loss of habitat and biodiversity, declining profitability for fishers and women fish processors, and increasing poverty in fishing communities.

He indicated that in response to those challenges, the Ministry and the Fisheries Commission, in collaboration with the various fisheries associations and agencies, were pursuing programmes to address them and prevent the collapse of Ghana’s fishing industry.

The absence of a dedicated research vessel has hindered the ministry’s ability to assess the impact of the measures implemented so far, he noted, thus welcoming the arrival of the Norwegian Vessel to determine the country’s fisheries resource levels and related issues.

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