The economic, social and ecological performance of the industrial trawl fishery in Ghana: Application of the FPIs

Peer Reviewed
1 March 2021



  • Capture fish stocks are important source of animal protein in developing countries.
  • Most fisheries are overcapitalised and biological overexploited.
  • Industrial trawlers overharvest stock and employ destructive technologies.
  • The performance of an industrial trawl fishery has been assessed.
  • Social outcomes are good but ecological and economic performances are inadequate. 

To ensure that benefits from capture fisheries accrue to the nationals, fisheries regulations and acts prioritise local access and harvest rights in near and distant waters within a nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The lack of local capital to finance industrial fishing, such as trawling, has compelled developing coastal countries’ fishermen to access foreign investment through contractual agreement such as hire-purchases. In Ghana, this provision in the Fisheries Act (Act 625), has inadvertently, granted foreign owners de facto ‘recurring’ ownership and control rights over the trawl fisheries, with the nationals holding fishing licences retaining only de jure rights. The insecurity of the de facto rights may lead to overfishing and stock depletion. Using data collected with Fisheries Performance Indicators (FPIs) toolkit, the ecological, economic, and community outcomes of the industrial trawl fishery in Ghana are analysed and compared with the continent’s average performances. Except for community (social) outcomes, which were high and marginally exceeded Africa’s average; the overall ecological sustainability and the associated economic outcomes are performing at suboptimal levels.

Publication reference
6.Akpalu W., & Eggert H (2021). The Economic, Social and Ecological Performance of Industrial Trawl Fishery in Ghana: Application of the FPIs, Marine Policy. 125, 104241.
Publication | 24 May 2021