The Chief Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mr Michael Arthur-Dadzie has delineated the sector's agenda of 'One house , one fish pond' as part of measures to promote aquaculture and agriculture in the country.
In his view ,the practice would serve as a way of supplementing the national demand for fish and increasing livelihood opportunities meeting the deficit in Ghana's fish requirements.
Speaking on 'Omanbapa' Morning Show with host Kwasi Sarfo Malik, the Director stressed that backyard or household pond would help ensure all year round fish production for consumption to enhance food security, reduce food imports and alleviate poverty.
He explained that aquaculture when encouraged in our homes would provide labour for family members and neighbours . Other opportunities for value-addition that have been identified include fish processing, such as frying, salting and smoking which is done in the villages.
" Backyard aquaculture provides fish to feed families and also open up avenues for employment" he advised
Most of the commercial establishments produce fish from earthen ponds.
Tilapia is the major species farmed and constitutes over 80 percent of aquaculture production. The catfishes (Clarias sp., Heterobranchus sp.) and Heterotis niloticus account for the remaining 20 percent.
Mr Michael Arthur indicated that the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development disapproves fish imports like Tilapia.
"Nobody has been given the mandate to import Tilapia.The laws of the country frowns on that and anyone found in the Tilapia fish imports business would be dealt with"
"These measures are aimed at preventing the import or export of diseases" he lamented.
Fisheries constitutes an important sector in national economic development.
The upper east and western regions are dry (Vanden Bossche et al ., 1990), as is the northern region. Fish farming is mostly possible at irrigation sites in these three regions.
Fish farming development found that parts of the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern, Western, Central and Volta regions were suitable.
Small-scale farmers commonly produce various species. These include several species of tilapia such as Oreochromis niloticus , Tilapia zillii , Sarotherodon galilaeus and Hemichromis fasciatus , Heterotis niloticus and the catfishes (Clarias gariepinus and Heterobranchus bidorsalis ).
Fish is recognized as the most important source of animal protein in Ghana. Of the various sources of protein, fish stands out as the most important in terms of food security because its price, relative to the price of other high quality protein sources such as milk, meat and eggs is very competitive and it is the only source of high quality protein whose shelf life can be readily enhanced through low-cost sustainable technologies such as smoking, drying and salting.