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The resiliency of artisanal fishing communities in Accra, Ghana

Matthew A Wood-Hill26 June 2012

Students of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development programme recently returned from their fieldtrip studying the potential of Urban Agriculture for environmentally just urban development in Accra, Ghana for the fourth and final year. The previous three years have focuses explicitly on certain farming sites in the inner city, the peri-urban area, and in an expanding satellite municipality a short distance from the main metropolitan area. A film and chapter exploring land and planning issues in relation to these sites is forthcoming.

This year also opened up the opportunity for the student groups to go beyond the remit of exploring the issues facing crop-based urban agriculture. One fascinating subject to emerge was the role and contribution of the artisanal fishermen towards food security in the city. It is estimated that 70% of the fish landed on Ghana’s beaches come from the artisanal fisheries sector, yet they face a series of threats from urbanisation, pollution, competition with semi-industrial and industrial trawlers and pressures of climate variability. The group, consisting of MSc students Fanny Frick, Chika Ohashi, Nayani Nasa, Santa Pedone, Mandira Thakur and Isaac Yieleh Chireh worked in the areas of Chorkor and Jamestown and investigated the resiliency of these communities against such threats to the sustenance of their livelihoods. A detailed poster can be downloaded from here, and a short film produced by the group follows.