Irrespective of technical people at the Ministries and the fact that certain expertise can be outsourced; to be effective, a Fisheries Minister needs basic competencies in multiple expert areas – Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) skills (to help resolve the many conflicts within fishing communities), Law and English (to participate in international conferences and appreciate international legal instruments), Agricultural Science ( to understand the basic needs of fish farmers), International diplomacy (to properly engage other nations on fishing/ water disputes, knowledge on community and sustainable development, etc.
Due to its close connection with the water environment and issues of environmental sustainability, the fishing industry is governed by Several Multilateral environmental/ fishing/water Treaties and International Agreements/initiatives. Some of these include:
1. The Rome Consensus on World Fisheries-Adopted by the FAO Ministerial Conference on Fisheries-Rome, Italy, 1995- A follow-up Conference on the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
2.Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas.
3.UNDOALOS- OCEANS AND LAW OF THE SEA
4. Assistance Fund Under Part VII of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10th December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.
5. Sustainable Development and Protection of the Oceans (Agenda 21)
6. The Rome Declaration-Ten step to Responsible Inland Fishing
7. The Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for responsible Fisheries
8. Kyoto Declaration and Plan of Action
9. Declaration of the third Conference of Ministers of Fisheries (Spain, 1997).
10. Rio Declaration, 1992. ETC,
Thanks to Hawa Koomson who doesn’t even need English proficiency to be Minster of our Republic, future International Ministerial conferences on fishing, Multilateral agreements, consensus drafts, and conventions as well as domestic policy implementation laws shall all be conducted in Mampruli or Fante.
What a country!