Fisheries in small reservoirs in Northern Ghana: Incidental Benefit or Important Livelihood Strategy

  • J Hauck
Keywords: Fisheries, Upper East Region, poverty, malnutrition, income


Fisheries in small reservoirs in the Upper East Region are perceived to be an incidental benefit and the potential of this livelihood strategy is neglected. However, in some communities fishing in small reservoirs is part of their livelihood strategies. Several participatory appraisal tools provided entry points for investigations, and supported quantitative surveys, which investigated the number of fishermen and fishmongers, prices of fish, demand for fish and the income derived from fishing and selling fish. For most of those involved in fisheries, the income from these activities is not incidental, but among the three most important livelihood strategies and the income from fishing is lifting about 15% of the economically active male population in the study communities out of absolute poverty. The number of fishmongers and their income are much lower, yet many women rank the income from fishmongering high, and their growing number shows the attractiveness of the activity. Based on these findings this paper recommends to expand government as well as donor efforts to train members of those communities which are currently not able to access fisheries resources to support their livelihoods because of the lack of know-how and fishing gear.

KEY DESCRIPTORS: Fisheries, Upper East Region, poverty, malnutrition, income


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eISSN: 0855-6768