Mr. Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah, the Convenor for the Fisheries Alliance, a civil society organisation, has called for the documentation of the unique indigenous traditional fishing knowledge in Ghana to help in the country’s fisheries management.

Mr. Yamoah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency following the commencement of the Creating Synergies between Indigenous Practices and Scientific Knowledge (ISIPSK) Sankofa research project, an initiative of the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, in collaboration with other stakeholders.

He said it was important for the fisheries sector managers to blend traditional and scientific management as scientific knowledge depended on traditional knowledge, which is known as primary information gathering from practitioners.

He added that in Ghana’s fisheries sector, there were several rich indigenous and traditional knowledge that fishermen applied in their jobs that were yet to be documented.

He noted that
when fishers went fishing and returned at night, they read the stars and applied astronomy to identify where they have to locate their communities, adding that they also used the stars to identify some fish species that would be available.

Mr. Yamoah further said the traditional ways of constructing canoes in Ghana do not have any written diagrams or documents to show how they were done, stating that ‘in Ghana, we have a unique way of having canoes from logs; other places use planks, so it is a knowledge of carving that needs to be documented.’

He further said, ‘We also have traditional ways of net construction; when nets are stolen, traditionally, they have ways of identifying their own because they are uniquely constructed, but for a layman, when you get to the fishing community, you will think that all are the same; we have traditionally woven nets, and every fisherman has a unique way they do theirs.’

According to him, there are places that fishermen have identified as spawning grounds that need to be
properly captured to inform fisheries management.

‘What is even more important is that in those days, there were traditional norms and other forms of cultural practices that, when they followed, they called on the belief system, the sea god, to provide them with a bumper harvest. And they believe it is workable; we need to document them to appreciate and understand them,’ he emphasised.

Mr. Yamoah further recalled that in the olden days, there were times that the traditional leaders would not allow fishers to go to sea at certain seasons based on certain signals they had picked up by reading the stars or observing certain environmental happenings and had various reasons, including the sea being envisioned to be rough or if a disaster would occur.

‘There are traditional fishing methods that need to be captured and are unique to Ghana; we can even use them to promote tourism or share them with the global community for some recognition,’ he indicated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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