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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 34, March/April 2006 Forrest, Robyn; Sea Around Us Project Mar 31, 2006

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SSSS Seeee e aaaa a     AAAA Arrrr r ouououou ounnnn ndddd d     UUUU Ussss sThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 34 – March/April 2006In West Africa, where thewarm Sahara winds travelsouth to meet theeasterly Guinea current,is Ghana.  Fed by abiannual oceanupwelling, her watersattract droves of smallsilver fish to the surf anddraw thousands of mento the sea.One of these men wasDr. Daniel Pauly.  Longbefore he envisioned theSea Around Us project,Daniel did his Master’sfieldwork in a coastallagoon where he wadedthe shallow waters studyingthe fish inhabitants andtheir relationships.  Hewould eventually model thelagoon’s ecology.  Thirty-fiveyears later, we visited Ghanaas part of the Sea Around Usproject with the intention ofmodelling the relationshipbetween poverty andmarine fisheries for theBiodiversity InternationalProject of the Netherlands.Across from this lagoon, alarge, brightly paintedwooden canoe bobs at sea.The men aboard pull in theirblue nets with mesh sizessmall enough to catch thesmallest sardines. Thisdugout canoe is one ofmore than 10,000 in Ghana.Its story is rich in traditionbut its future is decidedlyinsecure.Unlike most West Africannations, Ghana has a deep-rooted tradition of fishingthat parallels a heavyreliance on fish for foodsecurity.  Members of theFanti tribe were found to befreshwater fishing upon thearrival of the first Europeanexplorers in the 15thCentury.  Ghana’s marinefishing sector emergedduring the 19th Centurywhen river canoeswere modified forocean travel totransport Europeanexplorers along thecoastline [1].Over the last half-century, Ghana’spopulation hasgrown significantly,as has the number offishermen (thenumber of canoes,however, hasoscillated betweeneight and tenthousand).  Thecanoe sector haulsin 70% of the country’scatch, comprised mainly ofsmall, low-value fish that areconsumed domestically.The remainder of the catchis accounted for by thesemi-industrial andindustrial sectors.With heavy governmentassistance, the localindustrial fleets developedfrom the mid-1960s to themid-1970s.  Most of theindustrial boats operate onGhana’s continental shelfand have had a history ofGolden coast -tarnished seaby Jennifer Jacquet and Jackie AlderContinued on page 2 - GhanaA Ghanaian canoe, dug out from the wawa tree,sets sail in the early morning.Photo by J. JacquetPage 2Sea Around Us – March/April 2006The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  FisheriesCentre at the Univer-sity of British Co-lumbia. Includedwith the FisheriesCentre’s newsletterFishBytes,six is-sues of this news-letter are publishedannually. Subscrip-tions are free of charge.Our mailing address is: UBC Fisheries Cen-tre, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory,2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Colum-bia, Canada, V6T 1Z4. Our fax number is(604) 822-8934, and our email address isSeaNotes@fisheries.ubc.ca. All queries (in-cluding reprint requests), subscription re-quests, and address changes should be ad-dressed to Robyn Forrest, Sea Around UsNewsletter Editor.The Sea Around Us website may be foundat saup.fisheries.ubc.ca and contains up-to-date information on the project. ISSN 1713-5214   Sea Around Us (ONLINE)conflict with the canoe sector.Since the introduction ofindustrial trawling in the 1960s,Ghana has faced declining catchrates and reduction in specimensize, and has witnessed a highproportion of non-targeted fishin catch [2].  For instance,Ghana’s shrimp industry hasbeen identified as having a largeby-catch problem - shrimpsometimes account for only 4%of the catch [3].  This by-catchconsists of the very fish thecanoe sector would have caught.Our model recognizescompetition for marineresources by the artisanal andthe industrial fleets.  It alsoaccounts for the differences inmotivation for fishing betweenthe two sectors.  The industrialsectors are driven by profit and,therefore, fish prices.  The canoefishermen are also motivated byprofit but will fisheven at a loss tofeed themselvesand their families.The drivers ofartisanal effort are,therefore, stronglylinked topopulation and fishdemand.Ghanaians derivenearly 20% of theirtotal protein fromfish, which is morethan three times the worldaverage.  But with populationgrowth and the addedcompetition with the industrialsectors, the canoe fleet has beenunable to meet Ghana’s annualdemand for fish, which exceeds600,000 tonnes annually.  In themid-1990s, imports increasedmore than five-fold from theprevious decade as domesticsupply further failed to meetdomestic demand.  Erosion ofdomestic supply has obviousimplications for nutritional well-being in coastal communitiesbut is also a symptom indicativeof reduced fish stocks andharvests.Because biodiversity is theprimary concern of our model,we have been unable to capturethe entirety of the Ghanaiandependence on fish for foodsecurity or the social welfareissues of the marine fisheries.The canoe sector employsroughly 80% of all fishermenand it faces challenges not onlyinternally (e.g., populationgrowth) but also externally fromthe industrial sectors and anincreasingly global fish market.In a sense, the canoe is a subtleemblem for the growingconflict, in fisheries and beyond,between a traditional, localizedeconomy and a rapidly growing,profit-driven global market.  Thisdichotomy is evidenced inGhana’s shark fishery, the detailsof which were shared with us bysome of our collaborators at theUniversity of Ghana.Just before the end of the 19thCentury, a small wall net wasintroduced in Ghana for catchingsharks [4].  Though the easternregion fishing communitiesabstain from shark fishing due totraditional beliefs, the westernfishing communities doGhana - Continued from page 1Continued on page 3 - GhanaJackie Alder, A.K. Armah and Jennifer Jacquet at work atthe University of Ghana... the canoeis a subtleemblem forthe growingconflictbetween atraditional,localizedeconomyand arapidlygrowing,profit-drivenglobalmarketThe Sea Around Us project is a Fisheries Centre partner-ship with the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia,USA. The Trusts support nonprofit activities in the areasof culture, education, the environment, health and human serv-ices, public policy and religion. Based in Philadelphia, the Trustsmake strategic investments to help organisations and citizensdevelop practical solutions to difficult problems. In 2000, withapproximately $4.8 billion in assets, the Trusts committed over$235 million to 302 nonprofit organisations.Page 3 Sea Around Us – March/April 2006consume shark.  In recent years,the shark fishery in Ghana hasgrown considerably with a newexport market opening inresponse to the Asian marketdemand for shark fin soup.Aquatic mammal ecologistPatrick Ofori-Danson reports thatartisanal fishing communities inwestern Ghana now use driftgillnets to catch dolphins (adultsand calves) to use as bait for thegrowing shark fishery.The shark fishery and use ofmarine mammals as bait areGhana - Continued from page 2unregulated by a governmentflooded with fisheries dilemmas.Over the last decade, Ghana’snational fisheries policy hasfocused on resolving conflictsbetween the canoe andindustrial sectors and eliminatinginequitable access agreementswith foreign fleets.  Thegovernment initiated an InshoreExclusion Zone that reserves twoto four miles of the continentalshelf for the canoe fishermen,built a port in Tema for exclusiveuse by the canoe fleet, andbegan charging a fee forindustrial boat licenses.  Theproblems in the shrimp industry,with only one remaining activevessel, have been resolved withthe virtual collapse of shrimpingin the area.But many detrimental activitiescontinue, such as uncontrolledtrawling, illegal fishing byforeign fleets, the use ofdynamite or poisons and the useof dolphins as bait.  Thetribulations of population growthand food insecurity likewiseescalate.  Once called the GoldCoast due to its abundant goldresources, most of the gold wasdepleted before Ghana gainedindependence in 1958. Left withpoverty, limited regulatory funds,A Ghanaian lagoon fisherman and hisscanty catch.            Photo by J. JacquetGhana’s fish mammies await the arrival of thefishermen and their catch at the bustling canoeport in Tema.       Photo by J. Jacquetand an absence of marine-focused NGOs, history willrepeat itself in terms of fisheriesresources unless Ghana is able tocombat food insecurity, fundfisheries management andfoster partnerships withresearchers and NGOs.References1. Agbodeka, F. 1992. AnEconomic History of Ghana:From the Earliest Times.Ghana University Press, Accra.2. FAO. 2004. Responsible FishTrade and Food Security.Report of the Study on theImpact of International Tradein Fishery Production on FoodSecurity.  FAO and the RoyalNorwegian Ministry ofForeign Affairs.  Prepared byJohn Kurien. Rome.3. Nunoo, F. and Evans, S. 1997.The by-catch problem of thecommercial shrimp fishery inGhana.  In The Coastal Zone ofWest Africa: Problems andManagement.  Eds: S. Evans,C.Vanderpuye, and K. Armah.Penshire Press, U.K.4. Lawson, G.W. and E. Kwei,1974.  AfricanEntrepreneurship andEconomic Growth.  GhanaUniversity Press,  Accra.261 pp.Canoes land their catch at Tema.                      Photo by J. Jacquet... history willrepeat itselfin terms offisheriesresourcesunlessGhana isable tocombatfoodinsecurity,fundfisheriesmanagementand fosterpartnershipsPage 4Sea Around Us – March/April 2006Publications Mail Agreement No: 41104508Adams, B. J. , C. Wabnitz, S. Ghosh, J. Alder, R. Chuenpagdee, S. E. Chang, P. R. Berke and W. E. Rees.2005. Application of Landsat 5 & High-resolution Optical Satellite Imagery to Investigate UrbanTsunami Damage in Thailand as a Function of Pre-tsunami Environmental Degradation.Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Remote Sensing for Disaster Response,Chiba, Japan (12th-13th September, 2005).Adams, B. J., S. Ghosh, C. Wabnitz and J. Alder.  2005. Post-tsunami Urban Damage Assessment inThailand, Using Optical Satellite Imagery and the VIEWSTM Field Reconnaissance System.Proceedings of the international conference for the 250th anniversary of the 1755 Lisbonearthquake, Lisbon, Portugal (1st – 4th of November 2005).Alder, J., S. Hopkins, W. W.-L. Cheung and U. R. Sumaila. 2006. Valuing US Marine Habitats: Fantasy orFact? Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-03, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver,BC, Canada.*Clark, C. W. , G. R. Munro and U. R. Sumaila. 2006. Buyback Subsidies, the Time Consistency Problem,and the ITQ Alternative.  Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-08, The University of BritishColumbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.*Morato, T.,  R. Watson,  T. J. Pitcher and D. Pauly. 2006. Fishing down the deep. Fish and Fisheries7(1): 24-34.Munro,  G. R.  2006.  International Allocation Issues and the High Seas: An Economist’s Perspective.Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-12, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.,Canada.*Perry, R. I.  and U. R. Sumaila.  2006.  Marine ecosystem variability and human community responses:the example of Ghana, West Africa.  Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-06, The University ofBritish Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.*Sumaila, U. R.  and L. Suatoni. 2006. Economic Benefits of Rebuilding U.S. Ocean Fish PopulationsFisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-04, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.,Canada.*Sumaila, U. R., J. Volpe and Y. Liu. 2006. Potential economic benefits from sablefish farming inBritish Columbia. Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-13, The University of British Columbia,Vancouver, B.C., Canada.*Sumaila, U. R. and C.J. Walters. 2006.  Making future generations count: Comment on“Remembering the future” . Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-05, The University of BritishColumbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.*Wabnitz, C. 2005. (Contributing author) Marine Systems.  Chapter 18 In: Assessment Report:Current State and Trends of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.Zeller, D., S. Booth, P. Craig and D. Pauly. 2006. Reconstruction of coral reef fisheries catches inAmerican Samoa, 1950 - 2002. Coral Reefs 25:144-152.*Please note that Fisheries Centre Working papers are available at www.fisheries.ubc.ca/publications/working/index.phpRecent Sea Around Us publications


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