The Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has recommended measures to consider in addressing the majority of the challenges faced in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
While the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy (NFAP) has made positive strides in addressing some of the challenges faced in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, PMRC is of the view that more needed to be done.
Among the recommendations made by PMRC in its analysis of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy released on Wednesday was implementation of a comprehensive strategy to address the challenges of overfishing and support the preservation of aquatic ecosystems.
“The strategy should combine increased sensitisation on preservation with the introduction of alternative income generation opportunities for local fishermen.
“This strategy can involve the establishment of cage farming or fish ponds, which not only provide sustainable livelihood options but also contribute to reducing the pressure on wild fish populations during fishing bans,” PMRC stated.
It also recommended establishment of a National Fisheries Day (similar to World Fisheries Day) dedicated to promoting responsible and sustainable fishing practices.
This, it said, was meant to address the need for raising awareness about sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices.
According to PMRC, this initiative would serve as a platform to educate the public, engage stakeholders, and emphasise the significance of preserving aquatic ecosystems for future generations.
Another recommendation made was the hastening of the establishment of the enforcement unit for fisheries and aquaculture.
PMRC believed that this unit had a key role to play in curbing or slowing down illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries as well as contributing to higher compliance levels.
PMRC also recommended establishment of processing and export facilities within the fish farming sector to enhance the economic prospects of fish farmers and create valuable job opportunities.
It indicated that these facilities would add value to the produce, expand market reach, and contribute to the growth of the local economy.
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