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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/15152

Title: Fishing for survival: Importance of shark fisheries for the livelihoods of coastal communities in Western Ghana
Authors: Brobbey, Lawrence K
Seidu, Issah
Oppong, Samuel Kingsley
Danquah, Emmanuel
et...al
Keywords: Fishers’ satisfaction
Artisanal fisheries
Fallback options
Household income
Livelihood strategies
Issue Date: Oct-2021
Publisher: Fisheries Research
Citation: Fisheries Research
Abstract: Small-scale shark fisheries support the livelihoods of a large number of coastal communities in developing countries. Shark meat comprises a cheap source of protein and is traded locally in many parts in developing countries, while the skins, oil, and fins are exported to the international market. This study addresses a gap in literature regarding the importance of elasmobranchs to key shark-fishing communities and the degree to which trade in shark products (meat and fins) vary in time and among fishing communities in Ghana. We interviewed 85 fishers and traders involved in shark fisheries in Axim, Dixcove, and Shama communities using semistructured questionnaires. Fishing was the primary source of income and accounted for 58.5% of the total household income of respondents. Other important economic activities were fish processing (16.0%), fish retailing (13.3%), and small businesses (2.5%). One-third and often two-thirds of respondents generated between 80% and 100% of their income from shark fisheries: Axim (65%), Dixcove (68%), and Shama (35%). Shark meat consumption was common among fishers and traders and represents a substantial source of protein in the diet of the study communities. Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna spp) and Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) have the most valuable fins and meat. Further, 75% and 95% of fishers and traders, respectively, see fishing and trading of shark meat as their last safety-net and, therefore, tend to be satisfied with their jobs. Non-fishing related livelihood streams including small businesses and transportation were the major fallback activities both fishers and traders preferred to rely on if there is a ban on the exploitation of sharks in Ghana. Overexploitation of these species will compromise food ecosystem functionality and security. Thus, any shark management strategy needs to urgently restraint mortality to sustainable levels, which, in the short-term, must take into consideration the preferred livelihood fallback options outlined by fishers and traders, and implement them to ensure the longterm benefits of the intervention.
Description: This article has been published in Fisheries Research and is also available at DOI:10.1016/j.fishres.2021.106157
URI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2021.106157
http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/15152
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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