Ghana’s coastal region supports productive fisheries that provide a major supply of protein and significant economic support to the nation. Over the decades poor fisheries governance and management - in large part due to the open access nature of the fisheries, overfishing and the use of destructive fishing methods - have led to marked declines in fisheries landings.
With the majority of studies focusing on the more productive and commercially more important pelagic and deep demersal environments, ecological information on the near shore rocky reef habitats (NSRH) of Ghana and West Africa in general is very limited. The present study fills this knowledge gap, by investigating the general status of the NSRH and fisheries of western Ghana, providing baseline information on the fish, invertebrate and benthic communities.
Results point towards extreme overfishing in these habitats and provide empirical evidence in support of the call for effective fisheries management.