The blue economy in Ghana: Industrialisation, Contestation and Impacts on Small-Scale Fisheries Livelihoods


This thesis examines the relationship between small-scale fishing and the blue economy in Ghana, using political ecology and sustainable livelihood approaches. The research shows that global policy documents and negotiations frame the blue economy in a way that marginalises small-scale fisheries. The study finds that blue economy aspirations for industrial-scale fishing in Ghana have created overcapacity, a decline in fish stocks, and weakened the market systems and value chain positions of small-scale processors and traders, impacting multiple dimensions of livelihoods. The growth-oriented goals of port expansions and port security measures have restricted fishing communities' access to coastal fishing spaces and caused congestion in the canoe bays of Ghana's fishing harbours. The study conclude that as small-scale fishing continues to be one of Ghana's most important sources of livelihood and income in most coastal communities, it is unclear whether the blue economy will create significant benefits for them, thus their future remains an open question.


Raymond Ayilu, who has just joined the ZMT as post-Doctoral Researcher is a marine social scientist with a Ph.D. from the University of Technology in Sydney. He has more than five years of fisheries management, governance, and project coordination experience in Africa. He has been a research partner for WorldFish, FAO, and the African Union (AU-IBAR), as well as a member of the TBTI global network. Raymond´s PhD focused on the blue economy and small-scale fisheries livelihood build on case studies in Ghana.

This meeting will be conducted in hybrid format . For those at ZMT, the meeting will be held in the Building F8 Seminar room (1st floor) . For those who join online, please join us using the following Zoom link:

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