The growing relationship between the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the University of Rhode Island through their respective funded projects under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is contributing immensely to the sustainable use of fisheries resources in Ghana.
The Two projects that have brought the two institutions together in this regard are the USAID-GHANA Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) and the USAID/UCC Fisheries and Coastal Management Capacity Building Support Project at the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (DFAS), UCC.
As part of the capacity building process towards sustainable management of fisheries and coastal resources in Ghana is the recently refurbished and equipped Fisheries and Coastal Research Laboratory (FCRL) at DFAS. The Laboratory is expected to serve a national purpose by improving and elevating research in the fisheries sector to better inform policy direction in the sector.
In lieu of the objective set for the Laboratory, an array of modern laboratory equipment have been procured by DFAS through the USAID-funded project. To complement research activities of the Laboratory, the SFMP on Thursday 27th October 2016, donated a set of special equipment for the determination and analysis of fish age and growth. This will allows fisheries managers to understand the dynamics of fish stocks and how fish populations react to environmental stresses like commercial/sport fishing, natural mortality.
The equipment were presented to the Laboratory and DFAS on behalf of the SFMP by Dr. Najih Lazar (Senior Fisheries Advisor, SFMP) in a short ceremony largely attended by DFAS academic staff, technicians and students, and some representatives of the SFMP. Dr. Denis Aheto, Director for the Centre for Coastal Management and Project Manager for the USAID/UCC Fisheries Project, received the equipment on behalf of the Project and commended Dr. Lazar’s efforts of working closely and providing technical advice on fisheries issues to the USAID/UCC Project. He further expressed excitement at the arrival of the equipment and thanked the SFMP Project on behalf of the Head of Department, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Dr. Noble Asare) and the Dean, School of Biological Sciences (Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong) who could not be present at the ceremony due to other official assignments. In his response, Dr. Lazar hinted that the initiative of an age and growth laboratory could be of a great service to the Fisheries Scientific Survey Division (FSSD) of the Fisheries Commission. Formal signatories were then exchanged to be the ceremony to a closure. Other DFAS academic members present during the ceremony are Prof Kobina Yankson, Prof. John Blay, Prof. Joseph Aggrey-Fynn, and Mr. Joseph Debrah.