The Fisheries Commission in the Western North Region has held its maiden open day at Sefwi Wiawso.
The three main objectives of the open day according to the Regional Fisheries Director, Mr. Alhassan Arafat Salifu were to promote corporate visibility of the Fisheries Commission in the Western North Region, strengthen collaborations with stakeholders to promote fish farming and fisheries-related activities in the region and market farmed fish (catfish and tilapia) from Aquaculture for Food and Jobs (AFJ) programme.
Mr. Salifu explained that as a new region, “the event is one of the initiatives and part of 2022 work plan that seeks to project the presence of the Fisheries Commission in all the nine districts of Western North Region in terms of promoting fish farming and other fisheries-related activities such as fish processing and capture fisheries.”
He disclosed that a hatchery facility has been established at Sefwi Wiawso for the production of catfish and tilapia fingerlings to address the challenges that fish farmers in the region encounter in accessing quality fingerlings, describing the Western North Region as capable of contributing significantly to improving fish food security and creating decent jobs for the youth from the extension activities and the implementation of the AFJ program.
The Regional Director called on stakeholders like the Forestry Commission, Chirano Mines, EPA and NGOs to invest in aquaculture and collaborate on possible interventions in running the fish hatchery, in order to make use of the suitable aquaculture lands within forest reserves for the benefit of fringing communities.
Exhibitions at this open day included presentations on the activities undertaken by the Fisheries Commission in the Region and inputs for aquaculture.
Participants were taken to observe fish feeding and harvesting on one of the AFJ fish ponds.
There was also a food bazaar where assorted foods were prepared using locally produced catfish and tilapia from the AFJ farms.
In a brief remark, the Municipal Chief Executive for Sefwi Wiawso Municipality expressed gratitude to the Fisheries Commission for organising the open day session as it has enlightened people on the potential of aquaculture for providing decent jobs for the youth and bridging the gap in fish demand and supply.
There are presently some 153 fish farmers and 483 fish-holding facilities in the Western North Region.
Tilapia and catfish are the primary cultured fish species in the region.