Working everyday except Tuesdays the fisherman from the seaside towns of Prampram, Cape Coast, and Ada, Ghana, head out to sea where they fish up to 40 kilometers offshore. For generations families of these communities have fished the Atlantic Ocean. What they catch will determine the livelihood of the community and their families. During the summer months of 2021 I photographed the story of these local communities of fisherman.
Rising before dawn to push their canoes into the ocean while battling with the shore break, and after a pause for prayer; the long workday begins.
Working hand to mouth, the fish are taken from the boats in baskets by family members and prepared for frying in oil for dinner. On land the selling, cleaning, and cooking of the freshly caught fish is a lively affair.
However, often there are barely any fish to show for a day’s work and nets come back full of plastic debris. Combined with overfishing by fleets from China and Europe there is a depleted supply of fish and a food chain that is out of balance.
Millions of dollars per year are reported to be taken from the Ghana economy from foreign countries. Because of this the government of Ghana has implemented an annual one-month fishing ban on local fisherman in an effort to restore the fish population along the coast.
Many do not know how they will make a living for the length of this ban, and fish illegally risking fines in-order-to feed themselves.
With supplies of fish dwindling and altering the ecosystem, these communities have little to fall back on, and the future of the Ghanaian fishing occupation is in danger of being inundated.
© Dan Fenstermacher Photography