Tono Reservoir fishery contribution to poverty reduction among fishers in northern Ghana
Fishery characteristics and livelihood status of fishers at Tono Reservoir, Ghana, were investigated between January 2015 and June 2016. Data on fisher demography, fishing gears, fishing methods, perceptions of the state of fish stocks, management practices, income and consumption of fishers were obtained through structured interviews. Censuses of fishers and fishing gears were conducted through direct observation and counts. The population of fishers was 950 and the majority (74%) of the sampled respondents fell within the ages of 24–41 years. Gillnet, cast net, trap and hook and line were the four main gears utilised. Illegal methods of fishing observed included the use of mosquito nets (nets with mesh <1.0 cm) and the use of brewer’s waste (pito mash) as bait. Brycinus nurse, Synodontis spp., Parailia spiniserrata and Chrysichthys spp. were perceived to have disappeared from the reservoir. The fishers were unaware of the existence of any fisheries regulations, hence there was no adherence to management practices. Their daily income was derived mainly from fishing. The incidence of poverty among fishers was low (8%). The Tono Reservoir has a great potential for supporting livelihood if it is properly managed.
Keywords: fisheries management, fish species, fishers’ income, Kassena-Nankana West, livelihood