Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Ghana Artisanal purse seine small pelagic fishery
Fishery  Fact Sheet
FCWC Fisheries Reports 2020
Ghana Artisanal purse seine small pelagic fishery
Fact Sheet Citation  
Ghana type Purse seines [FCWC] - APW
Owned byFisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) – more>>

Overview: Canoes size range: 12.0 - 19.5m long x 1.2 - 2.4m wide are used to operate three kinds of nets under this group in the Ghanaian artisanal fishery. These are the poli and watsa nets (Purse seine nets). They are mainly propelled by 25 - 40 hp outboard motors with some also using electronic devices such as fish finders and echo sounders. They are operated in up to 40m depth of water and used to catch varieties of small pelagic species e.g. Sardinella spp., European anchovy, chub mackerel, etc. Canoes in this fishery do daily trips.

Location of Ghana Artisanal purse seine small pelagic fishery

Geographic reference:  Ghana
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2018
Approach: Fishing Activity

Fishing Activity
Fishing Gear: Purse seines
Type of production system: Artisanal
Fishery Area: Ghana
Seasonality: All year

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Flat needlefish; Frigate tuna; Bigeye grunt …  

Means of Production
Vessel Type:
Fishery Indicators
Nominal Effort: Number of vessels
Employment: Number of fishermen
Production: Catch

Fishing Activity
Type of production system: Artisanal   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Tropical.   Depth zone: Coastal (0 m - 50 m).   Horizontal distribution: Neritic.   Vertical distribution: Pelagic.  

10 nautical miles from coast. Surface/Mid-water fleet.

Geo References for: Ghana
Target Species

Adult & Juvenile
Vessel Type

Ghana type canoe. Vessel length: 12 - 20 meters. 25 – 40 hp outboard motors.

Flag State
Fishing Gear
Purse seines
Protected Species (Bycatch)
Turtles and marine mammals
All year

Environmental limitations

113 landing sites
Trip Duration
1 day
Fisherfolks Community
Fanti, Ga and Ewe ethnic groups in coastal communities in Ghana from Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions
List of fishery Indicators
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
Nominal EffortNumber of vessels 3346vessels2016
EmploymentNumber of fishermen 33460Persons2018
ProductionCatch 132508tonnes2018
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
Dried, fresh, smoked
Ghana, Togo, Cote d'Ivore, Benin, Nigeria
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Ministry of Fisheries and Aquacultre Development (MOFAD)
Mandate: Management.  
Area of Competence: Ghana
Maritime Area: National waters.  
Management Regime
Management Methods

Compliance measure, Closed fishing season, Gear restrictions with focus on Spawner/Juvenile protection, Environmental protection - Binding

Fisheries Laws (Act 625) and regulations (L. I. 1968) on registration, mesh sizes, prohibited fishing methods and tools etc., conflict management in place; enforcement is weak, co-management being encouraged.
  • Aquatic species-related measures
    Minimum fish size, Minimum carapace size, Small size-fish proportion in catch, Maximum Sustainable Yield
  • Gear-related measures
    Mesh size
  • Fishing activity-related measures
    Vessel number, Closed season
Source of Information
Information provided by the FCWC Secretariat (FCWC Regional Database) and the Ghana Ministry of Fisheries and Aquacultre Development (MOFAD). April 2021.
FAO. 2021. Report of the Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS) and Fishery Statistics Capacity Development Data Workshop. Virtual Workshop, 26–30 October 2020. Rome.  Click to open
Committee for Inland Fisheries of Africa / Comité des pêches continentales pour d'Afrique, 1987 Report of the third session of the Sub-Committee for the protection and development of the fisheries in the Sahelian Zone. Accra, Ghana, 6–9 October 1986. Report of the third session of the Sub-Committee for the Protection and Development of Fisheries in the Sahelian Zone. Accra, Ghana, October 6–9, 1986. FAO Fish.Rep./FAO Fisheries Report , (377): 27 p.  Click to open
FAO. Report of the Pre-survey Meeting to Plan the Year 2000 Survey with the R/V DR. FRIDTJOF NANSEN in the Western Gulf of Guinea (Benin, Togo, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire). Tema, Ghana, 26 August 2000. FAO Fisheries Report/FAO Rapport sur les pêches. No. 663. Rome, FAO. 2002. 50p.  Click to open
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