‘Saiko’ is a severely destructive form of illegal fishing, where industrial trawlers target the mainstay of Ghana’s artisanal fishing sector – small pelagic species – affecting the livelihoods of coastal communities. They also catch a large proportion of juveniles – preventing the populations from replenishing.
In 2017 alone this trade took around 100,000 tonnes of fish – worth over US$ 50 million when sold at the landing site – a report by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and Hen Mpoano revealed this year.
A recent UN FAO assessment found that stocks of sardinella shared between Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin are near collapse, and recommended the complete closure of the sardinella fishery to allow populations to recover.
The Far Ban Bo (Protecting fisheries livelihoods) project, implemented jointly by the Environmental Justice Foundation and Hen Mpoano, and the Far Dwuma Nkodo (Securing fisheries livelihoods) project, implemented by Care Denmark, Oxfam International and Friends of the Nation, try to address these challenges.