The second cohort of 15 selected Ghanaian journalists for the Sustainable Ocean Alliance Ghana’s (SOA Ghana Hub) ocean and marine reporting Fellowship has been announced.
The Fellowship, which would focus on using data and storytelling tools to put the spotlight on IUU fishing and sustainable fishing practices in Ghana and across the continent, formed part of SOA Ghana’s project of using ‘Journalism to Counter IUU and marine pollution.’
The project is also part of the global effort to support and promote the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources in accordance with United Nations SDG14.
The selected participants are expected to report on issues confronting the ocean ecosystem between September 2021 to January 2022.
The Fellowship started over the weekend with a training workshop with the focus of preparing participants to understand the principles for securing equitable and sustainable fisheries in Ghana, as well as how to effectively use data in their reportage.
Speaking during the training which was held virtually, Mr Afedzi Abdullah, an Ocean and Environmental Journalist with the Ghana News Agency, gave an overview of Ghana’s fisheries, its key sectors and stakeholders, legal and regulatory framework as well as Fisheries administration.
He expressed the hope that with a renewed commitment from journalists in Ghana, more could be achieved in protecting the ocean and environment and therefore, entreated participants to be acquainted with them as they reported on the sector.
Mr. Prince Appiah of the Multimedia Group, also encouraged participants to endeavour to use data in their reports for the desired impact.
Marine Scientist, Eunice Osei-Yeboah, also highlighted some major threats confronting the ocean and the important role journalists could play in protecting the ocean.
Hub Lead of SOA Ghana, Mr. Gideon Sarpong, described the initiative as an “important opportunity to educate, persuade, and influence ocean-related policy decisions by elevating ocean discussions to the top of the national agenda in Ghana”.
“The marine environment is under assault from overfishing, habitat loss, and pollution. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates, that one-third of wild fisheries are overfished and no longer biologically sustainable”.
“The urgent needed solution, calls for a combination of enhanced awareness and a significant national and international action on IUU fishing. The time to take action is now,” he added.
The initiative is supported by the Sustainable Ocean Alliance through its Ocean Solutions Microgrants.
SOA Ghana is a country hub of Sustainable Ocean Alliance based in the United States.
SOA Ghana focuses on deploying data, technology, and community-led solutions in dealing with marine pollution, protection of endangered marine species as well as promoting sustainable fishing practices in Ghana.