Assessment of growth and management of the clam galatea paradoxa fishery at the lower Volta, Ghana

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MAY, 2015.
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This study was undertaken to develop scenarios for the sustainable management and exploitation of the Volta clam Galatea paradoxa fishery by determining the effect of stocking density on the growth of seeded clams at the Volta estuary. The study was conducted at Agorta Zewukope and Agave Afedome, in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region over a 1-year period from June 2013 to June 2014. Five stocking densities of 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 clams of mean length of 39.3±2.6 mm and mean weight of 18.5±3.1g were seeded in 1 m -2 area in duplicates. Length and weight measurements were taken every three months over the study period. Growth was negatively correlated with increasing stocking densities. At the end of the one-year trial period, the total weight (flesh weight+ shell weight) of clams stocked at 50 m -2 was 60.8±14.2g compared to 39.4 ±13.4 g for clams stocked at 250 m -2 . Negative allometric growth patterns were exhibited by all the clams grown under the different stocking densities. Focus group discussions with the fishing communities alluded to decreasing sizes of clams over the years. Majority of the respondents were in support of the introduction of minimum landing sizes to protect the fishery from collapse. Seeding of clams in privately-owned plots was seen as a proactive means of relieving the intense fishing pressure on the natural clam stock
A thesis submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Watershed Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil.) in Aquatic Resources Management.