Blue economy: industrialisation and coastal fishing livelihoods in Ghana

Raymond K. Ayilu, Michael Fabinyi, Kate Barclay, Mary Ama Bawa

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    The growing focus on the blue economy is accelerating industrial fishing in many parts of the world. This intensification is affecting the livelihoods of small-scale fishers, processors, and traders by depleting local fishery resources, damaging fishing gears, putting fishers' lives at risk, and compromising market systems and value chain positions. In this article, we outline the experiences, perspectives, and narratives of the small-scale fishing actors in Ghana. Drawing on qualitative interview data, we examine the relationship between small-scale and industrial fisheries in Ghana using political ecology and sustainable livelihood approaches. We demonstrate how industrialised, capital-intensive fishing has disrupted the economic and social organisation of local fishing communities, affecting incomes, causing conflicts, social exclusion and disconnection, and compromising the social identity of women. These cumulative impacts and disruptions in Ghana's coastal communities have threatened the viability of small-scale fisheries, yet coastal fishing actors have few capabilities to adapt. We conclude by supporting recommendations to reduce the number and capacity of industrial vessels, strictly enforce spatial regulations, and ensure "blue justice" against marginalisation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)801–818
    JournalReviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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