Access to fishing grounds and adaptive strategies. The case of Chorkor and Nungua Fishing Communities of Greater Accra, Ghana
AuthorSobang, Nicholas Badidaamet
Artisanal fisheries are increasingly been accepted as the panacea for exploiting marine resources in costal Ghana. However evidence mustered over the years indicate that the local fisher-folk who are engaged in small scale fisheries hardly get full participation in making decision governing these resources. The current study examine the factors that constrain fishers participation in decision making and how this impact on their livelihood adaptation strategies. With the combination of the Livelihood Approach and the Intuitional analysis framework, data was collected by interviewing key informants from Chorkor and Nungua fishing communities of Greater Accra, Ghana. Document analysis and observation were also employed in the data collection process. Data was analysed using Miles and Huberman (1994) approaches to data analysis. Findings indicate that, the effective participation of rural fisher-folk in making decisions on access to fishing grounds and other livelihood adaptation strategies is a complex task due to the institutional gap between the formal government and the traditional chiefs of the fishing communities. Further analysis affirmed that the type of decision making chain (top-down approach) pertaining to access, does not promote the effective participation of local fishers since policies are passed down from the top government officials. It was also clear that the fisher-folk are not represented in the Fisheries commission due to that, they are not abreast with the kind of policies that the commission institute regarding access. Pertaining to the vulnerability context, results indicate that although the fisher-folk are vulnerable, a significant number of them had devised several coping strategies out of their current situation of declining catches. Institutions play a major role in fisheries governance however, findings show that the main legislative instrument, Fisheries Act 2002 (Act 625), governing the fisheries sector and the sector ministry have no provision on access to ﬁsheries resources. Out of the discussions of the findings, the study recommends for the development of institutional structures that make it possible to effectively integrate the local fisher-folk in the fisheries commission where major decision and policies are made. Furthermore, using existing viable community customs and traditions to manage local resources have a higher propensity of success because they already have the legitimacy, support and commitment of those they represent. Finally, government should to commit itself to effectively decentralizing the act of decision-making process so as to adequately empower local fisher-folk in implementing their own management objectives. This could immensely improve their livelihood adaptation strategies.
PublisherUiT The Arctic University of Norway
UiT Norges arktiske universitet
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Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
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