Livelihood Strategies and Outcomes of Fisher Folks in Selected Rural Coastal Communities of Ghana

Isaac Eshun, Harrison Kwame Golo, Shirley Dankwa


People choose livelihood strategies that provide them with livelihood outcomes. For those living in poverty, livelihood strategies are usually varied and often complex. This study explores the livelihood strategies and outcomes of fisher folks in rural coastal communities. This paper focuses on two sub-themes: livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes of fisher folks in four selected rural coastal communities in the Volta and Central Regions of Ghana. This study adopted a mixed method research approach with a sequential mixed method research design. The population included fisher folks - fishermen, fish mongers, fish processors, boat owners, net owners, outboard motor owners, middle men and women in the fishing industry in the selected communities. Eighty purposively sampled respondents were tasked to respond to interpreted and aided in answering questionnaires since most of them could not read and write. Twenty fisher folks were interviewed from each of the four communities. In addition, one focus group discussion (fgd) was held in each of the four communities. In testing for consistency of findings, interpretative technique was employed in analysing the qualitative data, whilst simple percentage was employed for the quantitative data collected. The research established three predominant livelihood strategies pursued in the study settings. These are livelihood diversification, intensification and migration. The livelihood outcomes they aimed to achieve were to: improve health and wellbeing; increase food security; have access to resources; increase income; and decrease vulnerability. The study categorised fisher folks who strive to achieve their livelihood outcomes into three, namely, ‘positive’, ‘mid’, and ‘negative’. The study recommended the need for investment in livelihood activities within rural fishing communities as a way of broadening fisher folks’ entitlements and capabilities.

Keywords: Capabilities, Coastal Communities, Empowerment, Fishing, Ghana, Livelihood, Livelihood Strategies, Livelihood Outcomes.

DOI: 10.7176/JCSD/48-05

Publication date:May 31st 2019

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