Meeting socioeconomic objectives in Ghana's sardinella fishery

Megan Bailey, Samuel Quaatey, A. K. Armah, Jennifer Jacquet, Ahmed Khan, Jackie Alder, U. Rashid Sumaila

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    It is frequently stated that there are explicit tradeoffs between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. This Chapter examines these tradeoffs through the interaction between Ghana's artisanal canoe fishery and the offshore trawler fishery. Ghana's marine biodiversity is threatened by a sizeable fishing industry partly because poverty is rife, and also because the coastal population has a high dependence on fish for their food security. The artisanal fishing fleet targets small pelagics, predominantly round sardinella (Sardinella aurita), with their catch used mainly for subsistence. By-catch in the trawler fleet, which includes round sardinella, is mainly consumed in urban areas within the country, while their target species are exported. Current artisanal sardinella catch is insufficient to meet subsistence needs, and therefore domestic reliance on trawlcaught sardinella for food security might be in conflict with the conservation of biodiversity. We develop a bioeconomic model, which illustrates that giving priority to the effective management of the artisanal fishery in Ghana could provide food and job security to the fishers of Ghana, without compromising biodiversity conservation, in contrast to the commercial trawl fishery. It appears that the sardinella fishery may be overcapitalized, as optimization results suggest effort could be cut in half while still providing catch levels of about 300,000 tonnes per year, or four times current artisanal catches. Limiting by-catch and spatial conflicts by the trawl fishery could yield economic benefits from the artisanal sector of over US$200 million over 20 years.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationNatural Resources in Ghana
    Subtitle of host publicationManagement, Policy and Economics
    PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)9781616680206
    StatePublished - Jan 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Environmental Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'Meeting socioeconomic objectives in Ghana's sardinella fishery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this