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Ghana has signed an agreement with the Secretariat of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) to be the host country for the organisation's seventh meeting of ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture
The meeting, to be held from 5-8 April 2022, will be attended by policy makers, practitioners, and other stakeholders within the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, signed for Ghana while Cristelle Pratt signed on behalf of OACPS.
The main objective of the meeting, officially launched in Ghana on August 24, 2021, is to provide a medium for the highest-level policy and decision makers on fisheries and aquaculture resources development to provide strategic policy direction and leadership.
It is also to develop and strengthen fisheries governance and contribute to the overall sustainable development of members of the OACPS.
While speaking to Ghana News Agency, Botchwey said following right on the heels of COP26, the upcoming meeting on fisheries and aquaculture will continue the discussions on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals 14 – life below water at the UN Ocean Conference to be co-hosted by Kenya and Portugal, as well as the seventh ‘Our Ocean Conference’ to be hosted by Palau next year.
Pratt said although fisheries have high nutritional value and contributed to economic growth, harmful practices that were unregulated as well as pollution and climate biodiversity and COVID-19, placed fish lives under pressure and undermined production in marine life.
She said it was a cross-cutting challenge that could not be dealt with by one country, even if the country intensified its local initiatives. The meeting would, therefore, extend the bond with member states, help them share experiences, and promote good ocean governance, she said.
She commended Ghana for signing the agreement, saying it was a landmark move that would ensure that the objectives of the meeting were met, while giving her assurance to work closely with the Ghanaian ambassador to Belgium Sena Siaw-Boateng, and other stakeholders to successfully implement the meeting.
Mavis Hawa Koomson, minister of fisheries and aquaculture development, said that the signing of the agreement was a confirmation of Ghana’s acceptance to host the meeting, reiterating that it was a crucial milestone that Ghana would benefit from.