Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, says several foreign fishing vessels have been denied licenses to operate in Ghana as part of efforts to protect the country’s territorial waters. Dr. Bawumia says the government is seriously regulating the operations of the fisheries industry. Speaking at the 3rd Biennial Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment in Accra, Dr. Bawumia says Ghana’s ocean must be protected. “The government has begun various activities to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in our waters. We are seriously regulating the licensing of foreign fishing vessels, especially their fishing gear, where they fish, and whether they have licenses or not. Some of these foreign vessels have already been denied licenses,” he said. Meanwhile, Dr. Bawumia has pledged to make the blue economy a key component of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) manifesto for next year’s general election. The blue economy is an economic system that seeks to conserve marine and freshwater environments while using them in a sustainable way to develop economic growth and produce resources such as energy and food. Speaking at the University of Cape Coast’s 3rd Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment in Accra, Dr. Bawumia revealed that the government has approved a $150 million World Bank loan to help fight coastal degradation. “The government has approved a loan of $150 million from the World Bank for the West Africa coastal area program to stem the tide of coastal degradation occurring in our coastal areas.” He said the loan would be used to finance several projects, including the development of sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices and the promotion of blue tourism and other blue economic activities. Dr. Bawumia said the government is also committed to working with the private sector to develop the blue economy. He said the government has created several incentives to attract private investment in the blue economy, such as tax breaks and access to financing. The Vice President said the blue economy has the potential to create millions of jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenue for Ghana. He added that the government is committed to developing the blue economy sustainably and inclusively.