Globally, the aquaculture industry has grown significantly by increasing fish production and Ghana’s aquaculture industry has grown significantly due to the increased demand for fish and fish products. In recent years, thanks to the Government/World Bank-funded Fisheries Programme and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) through the Ministry of Fisheries. National aquaculture production increased from 32,512 tons/year in 2013 to 52,470.49 tons/year in 2016, accounting for 11.3% of national production. Aquaculture production will also continue to increase. Despite the significant growth, the sector faces several challenges related to management and production issues. For example, lack of affordable fish feeds, limited knowledge of modern aquaculture technologies, poor quality and inadequate supply of fingerlings, lack of policy direction for sustainable aquaculture, and Inadequate extension services and training.
Fish feed costs are the main cost of fish production. Farmed fish need to be fed a nutrient-dense feed to produce the maximum weight of marketable fish in the shortest amount of time. Most of these feeds are compound feeds, which are expensive. Due to the higher cost of fish feed in the market, the price of fish produced by farms is higher than that of fish caught by fishermen from rivers. So if there are a lot of intensively farmed fish on the market, you may find it difficult to sell because people prefer to buy cheap.
Pests and diseases pose serious threats to aquatic ecosystems and aquaculture. There are many types of fish diseases and they can spread over a large area. The lack of ability of most Ghanaian fish farmers to identify and control fish pests and fish diseases has been negatively impacting the success of Ghanaian fish farming.
Most of the ones used in hatcheries and fingerling production are of poor quality, perform poorly in culture, are prone to disease and do not reach maximum weight for a certain period of time.
Fish farming requires significant financial investment. Commercial banks are usually reluctant to provide loan facilities to fish farmers. This is not unrelated to the high risk of fish farming. Typically, depository banks see agriculture as risky and are skeptical about lending to agribusinesses.
Farmed fish must be managed effectively, and the slightest carelessness can lead to fish infection or even death, resulting in huge loss of income. Most fish farmers do not have special training before farming, and even do not have a deep understanding of fish farming knowledge and skills.