A meeting in Ghana on April 5 marked a turning point towards implementing global guidelines on tenure rights to save the country’s declining fishing industry. Rights of access to land, fish stocks and forests are not always guaranteed. While local communities around the world often have systems to decide how access is granted, these systems are often informal. As times change and conflicts arise, there is the potential that those with the least power will have their rights eroded. In Ghana, this represents a real threat to national food security.
Ghana’s fisheries are in steep decline, with landings of key species for local consumption at their lowest recorded level since 1980. Traditional fishing communities have been hit hardest, with average annual income per canoe dropping by as much as 40 percent in the last 10 to 15 years.
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