A closer look at socio-economic and management perspectives of shark fishery in Ghana

Berchie Asiedu*, Andrews Apraku, Samuel K.K. Amponsah, Pierre Failler, Samuel Henneh, Lesley Ntim, Rachael Ackah, William D. Amekor, Esther N. Nkansah

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Shark is an important fishery commodity globally. However, 70 % decline in the populations of shark species has cast doubt on the fishery's economic success, especially in Ghana. Therefore, studying the shark fishery activities in Ghana from the perspectives of production, socio-economic, and management will inform key stakeholders of the approaches needed to strengthen the conservation of the fishery. We interviewed ninety-one (91) shark fishers from four important landing sites, namely; Apam, Dixcove, Tema, and Axim along the coast of Ghana using a semi-structured interview guide, and recorded their landings between April and December 2022. Our findings show that the dominant shark species landed by fishers were Sphyrna sp., C. leucas, C. carcahrias, R. acutus, C. carcharodon, I. oxyrinus, and Aliopas sp. with Sphyrna sp. and C. leucas experiencing a drastic population decline. Togo and China were the main foreign destinations for shark fin products, particularly fins of Sphyrna sp., C. leucas, and Aliopas sp. (species classified by the IUCN Red List as Endangered species). The price of shark fins during the lean season was significantly higher than in the peak period, indicating the influence of seasonality on the pricing of shark fins. The main challenges confronting shark fishing in Ghana were a decline in the population of sharks, inadequate premix fuel, and the risky nature of shark fishing activities. From the study, developing a species-specific conservation action plan through consultative approaches, community awareness programmes and enforcement of these conservation measures are some of the recommendations proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-385
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Wildlife and Biodiversity
Volume8
Issue number1
Early online date26 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • conservation
  • endangered species
  • fisheries management
  • shark-fin trade
  • sharks

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