The pursuit of creating sustainable fisheries worldwide is of utmost importance due to its numerous benefits. This presentation by Dr. Evans Kwasi Arizi, a fisheries scientist specialising in fish stock assessment, dynamics, and oceanography at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana, aims to enhance understanding of the biological and managerial approaches to fisheries. Healthy stocks help improving the socio-economic well-being of fishing communities.

Additionally, the speaker outlined practical management actions that can be implemented to achieve productive fisheries. The webinar also delved into the key factors that make these management actions effective in helping fishing communities transition from vulnerability to viability.

Much of the presentation was focused on the classical stock assessment and management approaches true to the motto: no fish no fisheries. It is useful to know the dynamics of the resources and how management measures can sustain their productivity as a necessary, though not necessarily sufficient condition.

The Q&A session also opened to some reflection how the social organisation of the fisheries, both on the male dominated capture side and the often women dominated postharvest side affect its resilience and viability.

Overfishing of the small pelagics which used to form the mainstay of the fisheries was exacerbated by Chinese industrial vessels in recent years. The traditional restraint of the artisanal fleet to stay ashore on Tuesdays was not sufficient to maintain the resource base. Closed seasons are now enforced by the artisanal fleet to help the resource to recover and let the juveniles grow at least to the size at which they first reproduce. But according to Evans a one-month closure just during July is insufficient for that recovery, though one month without regular fish supply is hard for the women fish processors and traders to ensure enough cash flow to feed the families.

Click here to see the entire session on YouTube.