Grassroots Conservation of EDGE Sharks and Rays in Ghana

Seidu Issah

Other projects

24 Aug 2016

Combining Research and Community Education to Conserve Odonata and Freshwater Habitats in Southern Ghana

3 Apr 2018

Freshwater Habitats and Odonata Conservation: Research and Community Education in Pra Basin, Southern Ghana

2 Dec 2020

Status and Conservation of EDGE Sharks and Rays in the West Coast of Ghana

Due to the life history traits of elasmobranchs, many species are highly vulnerable to overexploitation (Dulvy et al. 2014). That is the case for the majority of the species classified as Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) sharks and rays. An alarming proportion of EDGE sharks are on the verge of extinction, as most of them are not given much conservation attention worldwide. Ghanaian elasmobranch populations are under high fishing pressure as a result of the current spate of unregulated fishing activities and the high demand for shark products. This coupled with the lack of baseline information put Ghanaian elasmobranch fauna under precarious conditions. The lack of baseline information further impedes the development of conservation strategies to protect the elasmobranch population in Ghana.

Team member measuring Mobula tarapacanna at Dixcove community.

Team member measuring Mobula tarapacanna at Dixcove community.

The proposed project will tie in with our previous efforts to collect fisheries data in communities along the coastline of Ghana that were previously not explored. We aim to use fisheries-independent methods to monitor and map key habitats and breeding grounds of sharks and rays. Specifically, the project will investigate key bio-ecological and bioeconomic considerations that could assist with the successful establishment and governance of marine protected areas in Ghana. Further, the information derived from this study will provide a precursor for the development of management policy to stop unsustainable shark and ray fishing in Ghana. Lastly, the project will further draw attention to the plight of sharks and rays through community education and awareness creation campaigns. This will increase the understanding of the local communities of the threats facing elasmobranchs and marine ecosystems.

Header: Community interactions and awareness creation at Apam Community.

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