Fishers’ lives matter: social issues in small-scale fisheries migration of Ghana


  • Berchie Asiedu Department of Fisheries and Water Resources, University of Energy & Natural Resources, P. O. Box 214, Sunyani, Ghana
  • Pierre Failler Centre for Blue Governance, University of Portsmouth, Richmond Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth, PO1 3DE, UK
  • Samuel K. K. Amponsah Department of Fisheries and Water Resources, University of Energy & Natural Resources, P. O. Box 214, Sunyani, Ghana
  • Paulina Okpei Department of Fisheries and Water Resources, University of Energy & Natural Resources, P. O. Box 214, Sunyani, Ghana



Migrant fishers, West Africa, conflicts, fisheries management, fisheries resources


Migration is a common feature of most small-scale fisheries (SSF) across the globe. To enhance fisheries resources sustainability and management, we examined the social issues in the SSF from the perspective of fishers, Chief Fishermen, and Fisheries Technical Officers who are actively involved in SSF migration and fisheries management along the coast of Ghana. We conducted in-depth interviews in six important migrant fishers’ communities and analysed documents on the socio-economic conditions of migrant fishers, conflicts among migrant fishers, rights of migrant fishers and the role of government in managing fishers’ migration. Findings showed that the successful integration of migrant fishers in the host communities resulted in minimal conflictual incidents that are resolved through dialogue. Furthermore, both the Fisheries Technical Officers and Chief Fishermen are involved in conflict resolution depending on the nature of the dispute. Also, most migrant fishers (over 50%) have the same rights as the local fishers, though they are marginalized during the distribution of premix fuel. Migrant fishers with prominent status played key role during decision-making process in the host communities. Overall, the study showed that migrant fishers have aided in the progress of fishing technology, food security, and small-scale business in the host fishing communities. To avert any form of marginalization during the distribution of premix fuel, it is prudent for authorities to develop relevant policies that will ensure that migrant fishers receive enough fuel for their fishing activities in the host communities.


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How to Cite

Asiedu, B., Failler, P., Amponsah, S. K. K. and Okpei, P. (2023) “Fishers’ lives matter: social issues in small-scale fisheries migration of Ghana”, Marine and Fishery Sciences (MAFIS), 36(2), pp. 119–135. doi: 10.47193/mafis.3622023010503.

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