Project information

Save the Sea – Protect Ghana's marine environment

EJF works globally to protect the environment and with it defend human rights. In Africa, EJF works with grassroots partners and fishing communities to end illegal fishing, secure marine protected areas and build sustainable fisheries that both protect wildlife and sustain coastal livelihoods.

January 2013 - December 2015

Charity information: Environmental Justice Foundation

Environmental Justice Foundation logo
  • Need


    Illegal fishing is a growing global threat to fish stocks, vulnerable marine species including turtles and shark, and the communities that rely on fishing for food and income. Illegal fishing to supply international demand for species such as tuna and shrimp is fuelling a deadly trade worth up to
    US$23.5 billion. The rich coastal waters of West Africa are under threat - and in remote areas foreign-owned illegal fishing boats can operate with impunity, killing and wasting precious marine life.


    EJF has built a successful programme in Sierra Leone and Liberia working with grassroots organisations and empowering local people who suffer the effects of illegal fishing to document and report on illegal fishing boats. Evidence is given to government and EU agencies for action to be taken. Our pilot project resulted in foreign illegal trawlers leaving the area and new impetus has been given to the need for marine protected areas. EJF is now planning to replicate this project in Ghana.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Expand our community fisheries monitoring project and support for marine protected areas into Ghana.


    » Develop a project to enable the detection and reporting of illegal fishing vessels by fishing communities. Provide evidence to enforcement agencies.
    » Develop effective partnerships and give training to grassroots groups building their capacity to address marine conservation.
    » Produce films and briefings that are targeted to influence decision makers locally and internationally Including consumers to effect positive change.

    Engagement of fishermen to gather evidence and secure enforcement actions, as well as demonstrating to communities the value of marine conservation.

  • Impact


    Greater abundance of fish stocks upon which communities rely.
    Marine species including sharks and turtles and valuable coastal habitats will be better protected and more abundant.
    Marine protected areas will be better valued and communities will understand their role in conservation
    Local communities will have a greater awareness of how to improve their own fishing practices, ensuring greater sustainability, improving livelihoods and food security in coastal areas


    The empowerment of grassroots organisations, particularly in relation to an area that can entail challenging political corruption that allows pirate fishing to continue, can present risks to the safety of EJF staff, local partners and cooperating fishing communities.
    EJF addresses these risks by frequent communication and consultation with diplomatic missions, relevant ministries, the armed forces and local government. These arrangements are considered carefully before country projects begin.


    EJF communicates to donors through social media and regular newsletters reporting successes, challenges and future plans. Annual reports and targeted funder reports to meet individual needs and measures against targets and milestones are also produced.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £60,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Ghana Staff Cost of two full-time staff in Ghana for first year of project
      £10,000 International Staff Sierra Leone, Liberia and UK campaigners and film trainers.
      £7,000 International and local travel Two trips from UK staff and two trips from West Africa staff. Local travel in country.
      £10,000 Office Costs Office rent and utilities (incl. phone) in Accra and in a coastal community for local activism
      £3,000 Admin Legal support, registration and other administrative costs in Ghana
      £5,000 Equipment Computer and photographic equipment for local partners
      £5,000 Training grants Grants to local participants in training programmes
      £5,000 Communication Promotion of local partners' activities on radio, television and news print

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Aracadia Fund £15,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Ghana is a fast growing African country that is often seen as a success story in the region. However, its fisheries are in a state of crisis. Fisheries contribute 5% of the countries economy, but this is down on levels in the past and many Ghanaians have emigrated to fish elsewhere in West Africa. The loss of fish has led to a loss of food security in coastal communities, many of whom are now turning to bush meat to survive. Ghana badly needs to end illegal fishing to reverse these trends.


    The key beneficiaries of the project are coastal communities, who will see their livelihoods and food security protected and enhanced. In particular, artisanal fishermen who engage in legal practices will benefit from the removal of illegal competitors from across the globe.

    In addition, Ghana's fragile ecosystems will be protected, safeguarding vulnerable marine wildlife that is both intrinsically valuable and a potential attraction to tourists.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    EJF has received widespread praise for the implementation of a similar project in Sierra Leone, including from the World Bank and EU Commission.
    This includes the 2012 Energy Globe award for sustainability in recognition for the Community Surveillance project in southern Sierra Leone.
    Our activities with local partners there have led to the country's inshore area being trawler-free for over 160 days.
    Arrests of vessels following EJF alerts have raised over $500,000 for the Government.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Steve Trent

    Executive Director and EJF founder, has 20 years experience in conservation and development projects and leads EJF's Oceans campaign.

    Amara Kalone

    Community Coordinator. Amara built relationships with community groups that led to success in Sierra Leone and has since trained groups in Liberia.

    Patrick Sayon

    Liberia Project Officer. Patrick lived in Ghana during the Liberian conflict. He has worked to improve Liberian fisheries for over 20 years.

    Max Schmid

    Project Coordinator. With a background in finance and extensive experience of West African development issues, Max will lead the co-ordination.

Documenting IUU fishing & its journey to Europe.


1 month boat & staff costs to monitor IUU fishing

I support the work of the EJF […] Their efforts to engage in effective action […] will help to bring an end to pirate fishing, once and for all.

Johnny Depp