The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has handed over insulated containers to women who process fish in some parts of the country to enable them to preserve fish for longer periods before processing.
Beneficiaries of the locally manufactured fibre glass containers are in Tema, Mamford, Winneba, Apam, Sekondi and Moree.
The artisanal insulated containers are being piloted with sponsorship from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) to help preserve fish before it is processed.
The processors are expected to use ice to keep the fish chilled for 10 days.
The Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Minister, Mrs Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, who presented the containers to some of the fish processors in Tema last Tuesday, noted that the marine resource which happened to be the country’s main source of fish, was on the decline due to over fishing, over exploitation and over capacity of fishing vessels.
This year, for instance, she said, the country did not experience the normal sardinella catch, hence interventions such as the storage containers to ensure availability of fish to Ghanaians.
Mrs Quaye noted that the measure would also promote and improve the fishing sector, especially handling and processing of fish hygienically, which had been a major challenge for the fisherfolk.
“This policy will ensure that small quantities of fish landed is not made to go waste due to poor handling. This principle of getting more from less ensures that post-harvest losses are controlled, as part of ensuring safe and quality fish for our consumers,” she stated.
The minister said in addition to ensuring that there was fish and nutrition security, the ministry would also see to it that processors had access to poverty alleviation strategies, including loans and improved fish smoking ovens.
The President of the National Fish Processors and Traders Association, Mrs Regina Solomon, commended the ministry for training the women and providing them with the containers to preserve their catch of fish.
The MP for Tema East and Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Daniel Titus-Glover, also commended the fish processors for their contribution to the economy.
The MP also donated light-emitting diode (LED) street lights to beef up security at the fish processing centre at the Tema Fishing Harbour.