A National Committee on Aquaculture, with the mandate to find lasting solutions to contemporary issues confronting the aquaculture industry, has been inaugurated in Accra.


Members of the Committee are Dr Joyce Dontwi, Veterinary Service, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Berchie Asiedu, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Dr Akwasi Ampofo-Yeboah, University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr Nelson Winston Agbo, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Miss Esi Biney, Water Resources Commission (WRC).


The others are Dr Samuel Addo, University of Ghana (UG), Dr Noble Asare, University of Cape Coast (UCC), Mrs Sheila Ashong, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Jonathan Hagan, Volta River Authority (VRA) and Mrs Jennifer Sodj, and Mr Angelo Habib, Ghana Aquaculture Association.


The rest are  Mr Peter Ziddah, Fish Health Unit ( Fisheries Commission), Mr Emmanuel Aryee, Inland Fisheries and Mr David Aidoo, Advisor to the Minister.


The 14-member committee, which will serve a two-year term, will be addressing issues such as stemming the incidence of disease on the Volta Lake and the consequent high mortalities of fish, checking the suspected introduction of exotic strains of Tilapia by some farms leading to unfair advantage on the market, shortening the rather long time required to acquire permits from various regulatory agencies with attendant high fees and ending the debate on whether or not to introduce GIFT (Genetically Improved Farm Tilapia) into the country legally.


The Committee is also expected to streamline and, possibly, harmonize procedures and processes for the acquisition of permits from Aquaculture Regulatory Agencies, explore ways of providing affordable capital for investment along the aquaculture value chain and provide practical ways of implementing the donation for aquaculture on the Volta Lake under the West Africa Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP).


The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, urged the committee to assist the Ministry to resolve the seemingly intractable problems bedeviling the aquaculture industry and chart a new course for the further development of the industry.


On behalf of the Committee, Dr Joyce Dontwi expressed gratitude to the Minister for reposing confidence in them for the all important assignment and assured her that they would put in their very best for the benefit of mother Ghana.


Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)