Fisheries Scientific Survey Division


Marine Fisheries Research Division (MFRD) was established in 1962 as Fisheries Research Unit (FRU) with technical assistance from the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the purpose of monitoring sardinella fisheries. The Division’s name was changed from FRU to Fisheries Research and Utilization Branch (FRUB) and then to MFRD. Its current named under the Fisheries Law (Act 625) is now the Fisheries Scientific Survey Division (FSSD). FSSD undertakes research in marine environment and fisheries, and also seeks to the development of fishing gear technology.Currently headed by Paul Bannerman

The mission statement of FSSD is to :

  • To provide sound advice based on scientific research and surveys for the formulation and management of policies aimed at sustainable management of marine fisheries resources in Ghana.

FSSD has three main units: Environment, Fish Stock and Statistics, and Fishing Gear.


– To study and monitor the marine environment and assess changes so far as they affect the fisheries resources. This is done through the studying and monitoring of oceanographic parameters such as:

  • Measurements of Sea Surface Temperature, Salinity and dissolved oxygen from eight Coastal Stations ( Keta, Tema, Winneba, Elmina, Takoradi, Cape three Points, Axim and Half Assini).


  • Measurements of current speed and direction, wind speed and direction, nutrients, turbidity etc off Transects along the EEZ of Ghana.
  • Systematics of Plankton (Phytoplankton and Zooplankton analysis)


Fish Stocks and Statistics

  • Estimates annual fish production by the various fishing fleets through fisheries statistics
  • Assess the stocks of the fisheries resources through Acoustic and Bottom Trawl Surveys
  • Undertakes Biological studies of commercially important fish species
  • Undertakes Observer Programme on board vessels to monitor their fishing activities
  • Undertakes other surveys including Frame Survey for catch assessment schemes and management purposes.


Fishing Gear

  • Undertakes studies and development of fishing gears and improvement of existing ones


The Division has accomplished a lot during the past 40 years which include:.

  • Mapping of the migratory route of the sardinellas;
  • Mapping of trawlable and untrawlable grounds for fishing,
  • Studies on biology of commercially important fish species in Ghana such as the sardinellas, mackerels and sparids among others;
  • studies on tuna resources in the Atlantic Ocean as part of ICCAT’s mandate.
  • Identification of the major hydrographic seasons etc

The Division collaborates with a number of local and foreign organizations including FAO, UNESCO, and ICCAT. CECAF, FCWC and also the universities in Ghana , the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Department of Game and Wildlife (forestry commission) and other NGO’s related to fisheries and the coastal maritime regimes.