Location: Ghana (all 4 coastal counties)
Collaborators: Jeremy Collie, Kathy Castro (URI); Denis Aheto (University of Cape Coast)
Lab Personnel: Evans Arizi
Goal: Determine the life-history characteristics of sardines as well as fishing gear selectivity, then use these data to simulate population dynamics under seasonal and spatial closures.
Significance: The results from this project will improve fisheries that are vital for food security and are the mainstay of the fishing sector in Ghana.
Background: Marine fisheries provide approximately 80 % of the fish consumed in Ghana and over 2 million residents rely on the fisheries sector for livelihood and subsistence. The largest fishery targets pelagic sardine species (flat and round sardine). The sardine stock, however, has been dwindling for over a decade due to overfishing and habitat destruction and a great proportion of immature sardines have been recorded in recent catches. Management strategies based on effort control and gear restrictions have failed in the past and the national government wants something different; alternative management solutions may be ecologically viable in this context, but there has been little research to test such strategies. Data-driven solutions are needed to prevent empty nets for fishing communities in Ghana.
Funding: US Agency for International Development (USAID)