In Ghana, there are two main types of tuna fishing, namely:

  • Pole and Line
  • Purse seine.

Pole and Line fish with live anchovies as baits.  Hook and Line is used to harvest the fish, whereas, the purse seine use nets. Bait boats have been dominant in the Ghanaian tuna fishery for many decades (1960-1990) whereas Purse-seiners were introduced in 1996.

The practice is that whilst purse-seiners usually stay at sea for up to 30days, bait boats have a longer duration of an average of 45 days.

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Ghanaian registered tuna fishing vessels harvest a lot of varieties, including pelagic and migratory species. The large pelagics comprise mainly tuna species belonging to the family Thunnidae and other tuna-like species.

The common species of Tuna found targeted by the Ghanaian Flagged vessels are the tropical tuna species:

  • Yellow fin tuna (Thunnusalbacares);
  • Skipjack tuna (Katsuwonuspelamis); and
  • Bigeye tuna (Thunnusobesus)


The estimated average tuna production by GTA members is 75,000 metric tons per annum. About 70% of the estimated catches are sold to the European Union (EU), 20% are sold on the local market for local consumption by Ghanaians and the remaining 10% to the other countries.

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European Union (EU) is the main destination of tuna and fishery products from Ghana.  GTA members are major exporter of tuna to the EU market from the West African sub-region.  Ghana has two major processing companies i.e. Pioneer Food Cannery and Cosmos Foods that also process and export tuna and tuna related products to the European Union (EU).