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The Tuna Merchants Association of Ghana (TUMASGHA) has called for sustainable policies from the government to position Ghana as the Tuna hub of West Africa.
The president of the association, Mrs Janet Ampiah, said the tuna industry provided huge revenue to government annually apart from providing direct and indirect jobs.
She said policies and regulations such as high port and operational charges tended to impact negatively on the tuna business.
She called for a sound fisheries management system to prevent fish from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities from reaching the market, including European shores.
Speaking to journalists in Tema during the inauguration of TUMASGHA, Mrs Ampiah said tuna had a huge market in Europe and Asia, which Ghana must take advantage of, given that the country’s waters possessed some of the best tuna species in the sub-region, including the yellowfin, big eye and skipjack.
TUMASGHA was incorporated on November 16, 2020, with the aim to become a pacesetter in transforming the contemporary tuna trade and to empower businesses of members.
It was also to enhance the lives of its members through the application of best business practices to present the opportunity for members to grow their individual business capacities collectively.
Mrs Ampiah said the association expressed the hope to become the preferred industry player sharing expertise and creating a platform for growth and development.
“TUMASGHA’s strategy is to basically improve the lives of all members and further create business avenues for traders,” she said.
She explained that the association did not intend to be an impediment to any entity or individual, whether foreign or local within the industry, but rather establish a healthy relationship with players in the fish production chain such as the producers and boat owners and to build a good customer relationship with them.
“That together as a team, we can develop policies that will formally address all concerns within the industry, as well as improve this industry,” she said.
Importance of fish
The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mr Moses Anim, emphasised the importance of the fisheries sector in the socio-economic development of Ghana, saying the love for fish and fishery products by the Ghanaian population had culminated in fish accounting for 60 per cent of animal protein intake.
He said the per capita consumption of fish in Ghana was between 20-25 kilogrammes (kg) per annum, higher than the estimated 14 kg per annum for ECOWAS states.
The Mankralo of Tema and acting President of the Tema Traditional Council, Nii Adjetey
Agbo II, noted that the success of every association was dependent on its members and consequently called for unity among members and the leaders in order to develop policies that would address concerns and improve the industry.