(For candidates in Ghana only)



Fisheries is important to the economic development of West Africa and this syllabus has beenstructured to guide the assessment of learners’ knowledge and enterpreneural skills in fisheriesand related vocations. It is also to guide the assessment in practically oriented knowledge andskills in fisheries.


The syllabus will seek to assess candidates on:
(1) the importance of fisheries in the socio-economic development of West Africa.
(2) the dangers of over fishing practices.
(3) the regulations governing fishing practices in the country.
(4) the differences between freshwater, brackish water and marine habitats and resources.
(5) skills in fish farming.
(6) basic entrepreneurship skills in fisheries related vocations and business.
(7) the effects of water pollution on fishery resources.
(8) fish preservation and processing techniques.
(9) basic biology of fishes.
(10) basic fish health management.


(1) Schools offering fisheries must have at least an aquarium and a fish pond/concrete tank.
(2) The study of fisheries should be supplemented by visits to well established fish farms,fisheries research institutions, fishing companies and other institutions related tofisheries.
(3) Candidates should keep practical notebooks which should contain records of activitiesbased on laboratory and individual observations carried out in aquaria and fish farms,field trips and also records of specimens collected.
(4) Schools should prepare an album of fishery organisms, fishing gear and craft anddifferent fish rearing facilities and equipment for teaching purposes.


There will be three papers, Papers 1, 2 and 3 all of which must be taken. Papers 1 and 2 will be acomposite paper to be taken at one sitting.


Will consist of fifty multiple choice objective questions, all of which must beanswered within 1 hour for 50 marks.


Will consist of six essay-type questions. Candidates will be required to answer fourquestions within 2 hours for 20 marks each.


Will be a practical paper for school candidates or alternative to practical work testfor private candidates. It will consist of three questions all of which must beanswered within 2 hours for 60 marks.




1. Fisheries andnationaldevelopment
(a) Meaning offisheries
Explanation of the term fisheries
(b) Types offisheries Knowledge of the following is required:Culture fisheries (aquaculture)
Capture fisheries (fishing)
- subsistence fisheries
- artisanal fisheries
- commercial fisheries
- industrial fisheries
(c) Importance offisheries tonationaldevelopmentRole of fisheries in the national economy, employment, income generation, socialand cultural life.
2. Fisheryorganisms andtheir habitats
(a) Identificationand descriptionof commonfisheryorganisms
Assessment should cover the features of:
Fin fishes (e.g. herring, tuna, tilapia, Clarias,Heterobranchus)
Crustaceans (shrimp/prawns/lobster, crabs)Molluscs (clam, scallops, oyster, cuttlefish/squid)
(b) Fisheryhabitats Knowledge of the characteristics of habitats:freshwater (river, lake), brackish water (estuary,lagoon) and marine (pelagic, demersal) shouldbe covered.
(c) Identification anddescription of thecharacteristics ofinvasive alien speciesin fishery habitats Knowledge should cover species such as:
Eichorniacrassipes (water hyacinth),
Cyperuspapyrus (Papyrus reed), Salviniamolesta(karibaweed), Limnocharisflava(Limnocharis),
Pistiastratiotes (water lettuce),
Azollafiliculoides (water fern),
Enteromorphaflexura(filamentous algae)
Ceratophyllum sp. (Hornwort).
Characteristics should include the morphologyof the species, mode of propagation, growth anddevelopment.
(d) Effects of invasivealien species infisheries Analysis of the effects of aquatic invasive alienspecies on fishery habitats, fishery organismsand fishers.
(e) Prevention andcontrol of invasivealien species in fisheryhabitats Assessment to include preventive measures suchas awareness creation, screening at entry pointsand enforcement of plant protection andregulatory laws and control measures bothphysical and biological
3. Grouping offishery organisms Assessment should cover the grouping of thefollowing fishery organisms under freshwater,brackish water and marine habitats:
Tilapia, Clarias/Heterobranchus, Chrysichthys,Heterotis,Lates, Bagrus, Alestes, Synodontis,Prawns, Crabs, Grey mullet, Shrimps,Sardinella, Sea bream, Cassava fish, Tuna,Mackerel, Anchovy, Shark, Cuttle fish/squid,Clam, Ray, Sea urchin.


1. Fish landingsites and facilities
(a) Types of fish landing sites
Assessment should cover the identification and location of the following landing sites in yourcountry:
beaches, harbours, lagoons, river banks, lakeshores.
(b) Facilities andactivities at fish landingsites Knowledge in the use of the following facilitiesis required: winch, cold store, ice plant, fuelstation, slipway, dry dock, jetty and breakwater.
Description of activities at fish landing sites:
- unloading fish from vessels
- fuelling vessels
- loading of ice into vessels
- beaching of vessels for repairs
- repairs and maintenance of vessels/gear
- fish processing
- fish marketing
(c) Sanitationpractices at fishlanding sites Assessment should cover knowledge and skillsof proper disposal of wastes generated at fishlanding sites including oil spills and vessel parts.
2. Fishing gear and craft.
(a) Classification anddescription of fishing gear
Active fishing gear:
- cast net
- seine net
- trawl
- dredges
- scoop net
Passive fishing gear: e.g.
- hooking devices
- stationary nets
- tangle nets
- traps
Merits and demerits of using the various gearare also required.
(b) Constructionand maintenanceof fishing gearAssessment should include knowledge ofmaterials for construction and repair of fishinggear.
Basic ways of maintaining fishing gear isalso required.
(b) Description andmaintenance offishing craft Fishing craft should include canoes, trawlersand purse seiners
. Accessories such as oars,sails, outboard and inboard engines, winches,sonar and radar should also be covered.

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(d) Fishing methods Description of active and passive fishingmethods used in inland, coastal and deep seafishing is required.
(e) Harmful fishingpracticesAssessment should cover the description ofharmful fishing practices and an analysis of theireffects.
Ways of preventing harmful fishingpractices and minimizing their effects are alsorequired.


1. Identification andclassification offishery organisms
(a) Identification ofcommon fisheryorganisms byspecies
Common and scientific names are required.
(b) Classification ofcommon fisheryorganismsCommon fishery organisms should be classifiedunder phylum and class for Mollusca,Arthropoda and Echinodermata.
PhylumChordata should be classified to the subclasslevel.
2. Structure andfunction offishery organisms
(a) Fish bodymeasurements
Ability to measure total, standard and forklengths, and weights should be assessed.
(b) External structuresand features offishery organisms Assessment should cover a mollusc (cuttle fish),
crustaceans (shrimp/prawn, crab),
cartilaginousfish (shark, ray) and bony fishes (tilapia,Clarias).
(c) Internal organs ofbony fishes andtheir functions Assessment should cover organs such as gills,alimentary canal, heart and blood vessels,kidneys and gonads.
3. Life processes infishes
(a) Locomotion
Assessment should cover role of muscles and fins in movement and the maintenance ofbalance (pitching, rolling, yawing).
(b) Feeding and digestion Assessment should include knowledge ofingestion, digestion, absorption and egestion infishes.
(c) Blood circulation Assessment should cover composition,circulation and functions of blood.
(d) Gaseous exchangeAn understanding of the mechanism of gaseousexchange is required.
(e) Excretion Knowledge of osmo-regulation and theexcretory process and products is required.
(f) Reproduction Knowledge and understanding of the stages inthe reproductive process: gamete formation,spawning, fertilization and parental care arerequired.
Identification of male and female tilapia shouldbe assessed.
Examination of eggs of gravid/berried fish isrequired.
(g) Growth Knowledge and understanding of the life cyclein fishes and the factors affecting growth (e.g.temperature, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, foodavailability, competition) are required.
4. Fish ecology
(a) Environmentalconditions in fishhabitats
Knowledge and understanding of theenvironmental conditions and their effects onfish populations (temperature, dissolved oxygen,salinity, pH, turbidity, light, nutrients, upwellingphenomenon) are required.
Measurement of environmental conditions usingwater test kits on water from pond, river/stream,lagoon, lake and sea is required.
(b) Ecologicalprocesses withinfish habitatsKnowledge of the following processes isrequired:
- feeding behaviour
- predation, competition
- food chain, food web
- food pyramid
- fish mortality
- adaptation of fishes to their environment
(c) Pollution inwater bodies The causes (poisons, sewage, debris, householdrefuse etc), effects, prevention and control ofpollution are required.
Effects of pollution on fish populations shouldbe covered.
5. Fish genetics andevolution
(a) Principles ofGenetics
Assessment should cover knowledge andunderstanding of chromosomes, genes, geneticcrossings, genotype and phenotype as applied tofish.
Application of the principles of genetics to fishbreeding, e.g. development of super male tilapiaand Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia(GIFT) should be assessed.
(b) Inheritance of geneticcharacteristics Explanation of the concept of inheritance ofexternal characters in fishes e.g. skin colour isrequired.

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1. Introduction to aquaculture
(a) Meaning andimportance ofaquaculture
(b) Types of aquaculture
(c) The state of aquaculture
Assessment should cover the culture oforganisms including fish, clams, shrimps andsea weeds.
Assessment should be limited to the state ofaquaculture in your country:
Numbers and sizes of farms, types of culturedspecies, practices, infrastructure/facilities, levelsof production, prospects and challenges.
Factors/problems affecting aquaculture shouldinclude:
few specialists in the field, high cost of pondconstruction, high cost of feed, difficulty in obtaining fingerlings, difficulty in accessingcredit and difficulty in land acquisition.
Solutions to problems facing aquaculture in thecountry should be covered.
2. Aquarium activities
(a) Construction ofan aquarium
Assessment should cover knowledge and skillsinvolved in the identification of materialsrequired, design and construction of anaquarium.
(b) Management of anaquariumAssessment should cover knowledge and skillsinvolved in the identification of suitable species,capture, transport and stocking of aquarium fish.
Keeping records of daily management activitiesand costs is also required.
3. Fish farming
(a) Introduction tofish farming
Assessment should include the importance offish farming, levels of fish farming (extensive,semi-intensive, intensive) and types of fishfarming (monoculture, polyculture, integratedculture)
Knowledge of the facilities for growing fish(earthen ponds, cages, concrete tanks, raceways,fish pens) is required.
(b) Construction offish culture facilities Knowledge and skills in the selection of suitablesites for construction of ponds, cages and pens isrequired.
Criteria for the selection of sites for theconstruction of ponds, cages and pens shouldinclude topography, soil type, water quality andquantity and security.
Skills in site clearing, marking, excavation,formation of walls, fitting drainage structuresand grassing should be included.
(c) Management offish ponds
(i) Stocking of ponds
Knowledge and skills required should includespecies selection, fingerling packaging andtransport and stocking.
Criteria for selection of fish species should include feeding habits, availability offingerlings, growth rate and adaptability.
(ii) Pond maintenance Knowledge of maintenance activities on fishponds to be assessed should include:
- the control of water level
- repairing leakages
- predator and weed control
- fertilizer application
(iii) Water qualitycontrol and monitoring Knowledge and skills in monitoring of waterquality should cover:
- pH
- dissolved oxygen
- turbidity
- ammonia content
- temperature
Knowledge of measures to improve waterquality such as stirring, lime application andfertilizer application is required.
(iv) Fish feeds and feeding Knowledge about types of fish feeds and theirnutrient content e.g. formulated feeds,agricultural by-products, pelletized and floatingfeeds is required.
Skills in the formulation of nutritionallybalanced fish feed/diets, procedures for feedingfish, feeding times and quantities should becovered.
(v) Harvesting of fish ponds Types of harvesting (partial and total) usingvarious fishing gear and methods should beassessed.
Draining and refilling of fish ponds as measuresof pond preparation after harvest should becovered.
(d) Fish diseases
(i) Types and causes
Assessment should be limited to the following:
Gill rot - fungus
Furunculosis - bacteria
Ich - protozoa
(ii) SymptomsAssessment should be based on theidentification of symptoms:
Gill rot - red/whitish spots on gills
Furuncolosis - ulcers on skin
Ich - white spots on skin and fins
(iii) Prevention,control andtreatmentKnowledge of the following methods isrequired:
chemotherapy, sterilization, minimal handling offish, suitable diet and disinfection.
Assessment should also include knowledge ofaquatic conditions which favour fish diseases.


1. Nutritive valueof fish:
Nutritivecomposition offin fish,
crustaceans andmolluscs
Knowledge of the nutrients in fishery organisms
- proteins, lipids, mineral salts, water andvitamins
- and experiments to test for proteinand lipids in fish are required.
2. Fish processingandpreservation
(a) Meaning of fishprocessing andpreservation
Meaning of fish processing:
Explanation shouldinclude activities carried out to prepare fish forconsumption and marketing.
Meaning of fish preservation:
Explanationshould include activities carried out to extendthe shelf life of fish.
Distinction between fish processing and fishpreservation is also required
(b) Importance of fishprocessing andpreservation Reasons for fish processing and preservationshould include prevention of spoilage, increaseof shelf life, improvement of taste and addingvalue.
(c) General principles offish processingand preservationKnowledge of the principles should include theremoval of microbes and water, slowing downenzymatic action, denaturing of enzymes,slowing down bacterial activity and preventingfat oxidation.
(d) Methods of fish processing Assessment should be based on knowledge and skills in washing, scaling, gutting and filletingof fish.
Identification of common fish processingequipment such as knives, scissors andmechanical equipment is required.
(e) Methods of fishpreservation Assessment should cover knowledge in thefollowing:
Traditional methods (e.g. smoking, cooking,salting, drying and frying.)
Modern methods (e.g. freezing, canning,irradiation and use of chemicals – pickling.)
Identification and description of common fishpreservation equipment such as Chorkorsmoker is required.

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(f) Packaging of fish Identification of materials for packaging freshand preserved fish for local and export marketse.g. cartons, crates and baskets is required.
Demonstration of methods of packaging freshfish and fish preserved by smoking,
(g) Fish products andby-products Major fish products to be identified: fish fillets,chunks and flakes, canned, smoked, dried,salted, pickled, marinated fish.
Fish by-products to be identified should includefish oils, fish entrails (guts and gills) and fishbones.
Uses of fish by-products should be covered.
(h) Fish spoilage(i) Signs of fishspoilageSigns of fish spoilage to be detected shouldinclude sunken eyes, mucus on the skin anddarkening colour of gills.
(ii) Causes of fish spoilage Knowledge of the causes of fish spoilage shouldbe limited to microbial, enzymatic and fatoxidation.
The importance of proper handling of fish todelay spoilage should be included.
(iii) Effects of fish spoilage Knowledge of effects such as loss of value, tasteand income should be assessed.The public health hazard of consuming spoiledfish should be covered.


1. Fisheriesmanagement
(a) Meaning offisheries management
Assessment should cover knowledge ofmeasures taken to maintain fish stock levels forsustainable exploitation.
The concept ofMaximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) should becovered.
(b) Objectives andstrategies offisheriesmanagementObjectives of fisheries management shouldinclude maximizing sustainable catches andmaintaining spawning stock.
Strategies should include limiting the number offishing units, fishing closures, regulating meshsizes and catch quotas.
(c) Traditional fish stockmanagement practices Assessment should include the use of practicessuch as close seasons, taboos, non-fishing daysand cultural festivals to maintain fish stocks.
(d) Data collectionand analysis for fisheriesmanagement Knowledge of basic data required for fisheriesmanagement e.g.
fish catch, fishing effort, fishlength and weight, fish age and gear type shouldbe assessed.
Skills in the analysis of the data are alsorequired.
Factors (such as climate and breeding)responsible for seasonal variations in fishcatches (bumper and lean) should be covered.
Explanation of the effect of upwelling onbumper harvest of fish should be assessed.
2. Fishery policiesand regulations
(a) Governmentpolicies andregulations onfisheries
Knowledge of government policies andregulations on fisheries e.g. subsidy on fishinginputs, role of stakeholders, fish imports shouldbe assessed.Knowledge of the importance of fisheriespolicies and regulations e.g. preventing captureof juvenile fishes, protection of the environmentis also required.
(b) International law andconventions Meaning and economic benefits of the ExclusiveEconomic Zone (EEZ) should be covered.
Assessment should include knowledge ofendangered fishery organisms and international conventions which protect them e.g. IUCN RedList, Convention on Biodiversity (CBD),
International Convention for the Conservationof Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
The importance of international conventionsshould also be included.
3. Business of fisheries:Budgetpreparation and financialprojections for a fisherybusiness Knowledge and skills in the preparation ofbudgets using expenditure and income itemsfrom culture and capture fisheries and otherfishery related businesses (sale of fishing inputs,fish marketing and fish processing) are required.
Cashflow projections are also required.
Knowledge and skills in pricing of fish productsin relation to demand and supply of fish productshould be covered.

(a) The state of fishmarketing
Assessment should cover knowledge in qualitycontrol, packaging, storage and transportation offish.
Major fish marketing centres in the countryshould be identified, e.g.
fishing harbours – Tema, Takoradi
fish landing beaches – Elmina
fish landing sites – Yeji
other fish markets – Mankessim
Problems of fish marketing and their solutionsshould be covered.
Activities involved in fish import and exportshould be outlined.
Explanation of the effects of bumper harvest onimport/export and prices of fish should beassessed.
(b) Major fisheries companies Major companies involved in fisheries activitiesin your country should be named e.g.
fishing – Kaas, Afko, Enyidado
fish farming – Tropo farms, Crystal lake
fish company
cold storage – Felibat Ltd.
(c) Supply and value chains inthe fishery industryAssessment should cover knowledge of valuechains in the fishery industry.
Theresponsibilities of actors in the supply and valuechain should be included.
(d) Food fish quality and safety standardsQuality and safety standards of various fishproducts should be mentioned.

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1. Fishing communities andcultural practices
(a) Important fishingcommunities
Knowledge of the location of important fishingcommunities in your country is required e.g.
freshwater fishing communities- Yeji, Dambai,Kwamikrom and Abotoase.
marine fishing communities- Teshie, Elmina,Chorkor and Shama.
(b) Cultural festivals andtaboos related tofishing List of festivals should include:
Bakatue of Edina
Fetu of Oguaa
Dzawuwu of Agave
Knowledge of the influence of the festivals andtaboos on the fishing industry should becovered, e.g. close season/fishing holiday.
3. Fisheriesinstitutional framework andjob opportunities
(a) Fisheries training andresearch institutions
Identification, objectives and activities of theinstitutions e.g. Water Research Institute andUniversity of Ghana are required.
(b) Job opportunities inthe fishery sub-sectorJob opportunities in the fishery sub-sectorshould be identified, e.g.
teaching/research, fish farming, fish pondengineer, fish import/export, fish processing,cold store operation and fishing gear/craftmanufacturing.
(c) Businessopportunities infisheriesFactors required for establishing enterprises infisheries
- Identification of business opportunities
- Identification of fishery product orservice needed in a locality
- availability of market for the product orservice
- demand for the product or service
Resources should include land, capital,materials, structures, services, labour, technicalknow-how.
(d) Procedure forestablishingenterprises infisheries Procedures should include the development ofbusiness plans, registration of business,management of the business, etc
(e) Extension servicesin the fisheriessub sectorKnowledge and understanding of the role ofextension services in the fisheries sub-sectorshould be assessed,e.g.
technical assistance to fish farmers andeducation of fisher folks on fisheriesregulations.
1. Fishing gear:Identification, usesand maintenance Assessment should cover drawing and labellingof different fishing gear.
2. Fish Identification:Identification andclassification of commonfreshwater, brackish waterand marine fishes Assessment should cover the following fisheryorganisms:
grey mullet,
sea bream,
cassava fish,
shark cuttlefish/ squidand sea urchins.
3. Identification anddescription ofcharacteristics ofinvasive alien speciesin fishery habitatsAssessment should cover the following alienspecies.
Eichorniacrassipes (water hyacinth)
Cyperus papyrus (Papyrus reed)
Salviniamolesta (kariba weed)
Pistiastratiotes(water lettuce)
4. Fish structure and function
(a) External features:
body form, fins, scales,lateral line etc.
Drawing and labelling of external features isrequired.
Dissection, drawing and labelling ofgills, swim bladder, alimentary canal and heartshould be covered.
Structure should be related tofunction.
(b) Internal stuctures:gills, swim bladder alimentary canal,heart,blood vessels, kidneyand gonads.
5. Environmentalconditions in fishhabitats Measurement of the environmental conditions:temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and salinityis required.
6. Ecological processeswithin the aquaticenvironment Construction of food chain, food web and foodpyramid should be covered.
7. Characteristic featuresof fresh and spoiled fish Knowledge of the following characteristics isrequired
:Fresh fish - firm flesh, bright eyes, bright redgills and sea-weedy smell.
Spoiled fish - sunken eyes, dark gills, mucus onskin and off odour smell.
8. Identification of microorganismsandmacro-organisms inspoiled fish Assessment should cover organisms such asmaggots, fungi and insects in spoiled fish.
9. Fish processing andpreservation Identification of common forms of
(a) processed fish: e.g. gutted, filleted, skilledfish.
(b) preserved fish: e.g. frozen, salted, cannedand smoked fish.
Identification and uses of common
processing and preservation methods e.g.
Chorkor smoker is required.
10. Fish by-products Assessment should be based on theidentification and uses of fish by-products.
11. Pond construction Identification of suitable soils, material andequipment for pond construction.
12. Feed formulation andfeeding Identification of ingredients used for fish feedformulation and identification of types of fishfeed are required.
Methods of formulation of fish feed are alsorequired.
13. Pond fertilization Assessment should cover identification of types,uses and methods of application of fertilizers infish ponds.
14. Fish diseases Identification of gill rot, furunculosis and ich bytheir symptoms is required.

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