Effects of Fish Cage Culture on Sediment and Water Quality in the Gorge Area of the Volta Lake

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Aquaculture involves the cultivation of organisms which include molluscs, crustaceans, fish aquatic plants, reptiles and amphibians in an aquatic environment (FAO, 2014). Globally it is seen to develop at a high rate and is the quickest sector of food production (Troell et al., 2009; Abreu et al., 2011), with closely half of the supply of the world‘s seafood currently obtained from aquaculture (FAO, 2010). In Ghana, marine and inland capture fisheries production has declined since the mid 90‘s. The production from marine fisheries between 2000 and 2013 has declined by 17% according to Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) data. From 2012 to 2013, the production from inland fisheries has decreased by 8.7% from 95,000 metric tons to 86,741 metric tons. Due to this reduction, aquaculture is therefore being encouraged in Ghana as an assured way of meeting fish requirement. The aquaculture industry consist of small scale farmers who usually produce on subsistence basis, and medium scale to large scale producers. The systems of production have moved from predominantly extensive and semi-intensive culture in earthen ponds to intensive water based culture in cages. Currently, aquaculture production with respect to culture systems in practice are about 8% from pond sources, 4% being derived from dugouts, dams and reservoirs and 88% from cages (Kassam, 2014).
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Master of Science degree in Environmental Science,