ECOAQUA contributes to the technological, health and social improvement of fish processors in Ghana

ECOAQUA contributes to the technological, health and social improvement of fish processors in Ghana

Researchers Ricardo Haroun and Marisol Izquierdo present their findings at the International Workshop held in Tema, organized by the Korean Maritime Institute and the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development of Ghana.

The director of the ECOAQUA Institute of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), Ricardo Haroun, together with the researcher of the Aquaculture Research Group -known by its Spanish acronym as GIA - of this institution, Marisol Izquierdo, participated in the first International Workshop on Processing and Distribution Training of Ghana’s female fishmongers at the end of April.


The purpose of the meeting, held at the Crismo Hotel in the Ghanaian city of Tema, was to share the findings obtained by ECOAQUA researchers on the needs and potential improvement in the area of training and infrastructure of fish processors in the country's fishing areas.

Achieving gender equality, eradicating poverty and developing Ghana's fishing industry are among the main focuses of this initiative, which will promote training programs for female fishmongers to improve their knowledge of efficiency and the correct application of safety and hygiene measures in the processing, storage and distribution of products.


The study findings are part of a project by the Korean Maritime Institute (KMI), in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission (FC) of Ghana's Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), to measure the quality and efficiency of various aspects of processing, handling and packaging of fishery products in Ghana's main industry development areas.

The analyses involved both practical observation of the processes and surveys of a total of 90 women in charge of these tasks in three of the country's main areas dedicated to this commercial sector: the main port of Tema, the port of Kokrobite and the port of Keta, close to the border with Togo.

These analyses have concluded with the detection, description and development of proposals for improvement of these processes, especially with regard to the training of women workers in the application and monitoring of sanitary and hygiene measures during fish processing.

Likewise, the results of the study of the university institute of the ULPGC presented during the workshop highlighted proposals for the development of more efficient processing systems to protect fish products from contaminants and toxic metabolites resulting from rudimentary smoking techniques. The incorporation of sustainable and low-cost energy systems has also been proposed as aspects with potential for improvement.


The director of ECOAQUA, Professor Ricardo Haroun, also a member of the institute's Biodiversity and Conservation Group (BIOCON), highlighted the "great growth potential" that this industry currently has in the African country, not only in terms of improving fish processing for marketing, but also "in the progress of aquaculture". According to Haroun, this possibility requires a "greater provision of means" that allows the development of this both in the maritime field and in fresh water, highlighting the "extensive possibilities" offered by the artificial lake Volta Lake.

In addition to the researchers and authorities, the meeting was attended by 30 female workers of the industry in six Ghanaian localities, key in the development of fish processing activities.