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Saitei: Selling fishing rights in Ghana by Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu September 21,2020   |  Source: myJoyonews

Saitei and Saikouare are Japanese words meaning “worst” and “best”, respectively (Jisho.org).

The history of Saiko fishing (corrupted from Saikou) – the most destructive form of fishing involving the illegal catching of the juvenile catch of pelagic fish by Ghanaian-flagged industrial trawlers and their illegal transshipment to local Ghanaian specialized canoes-cannot be discussed without coming across the word Saitei.

History has it that Japanese industrial trawler fishermen fishing in Ghanaian waters around the 1960s and 70s would dangle small-sized pelagic fish by-catch at sea before Ghanaian artisanal fishers, shouting “Saitei!Saitei!”, referring to the small-sized by-catch as “not good”, and for that matter were to be discarded.

The Ghanaian fishers, on the other hand, would respond to their Japanese counterparts that the small-sized fish was “good”, (which translates in Japanese as “saikou”).

The Ghanaian fishers would then exchange fruit and freshwater (goodies) for the small-sized pelagic fish by-catch.

It means that what is currently known in Ghanaian fisheries parlance as SAIKO, has indeed always been ominous. Just like how drug addicts eventually become hooked to illicit and destructive narcotic substances through offerings of


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Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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