Management Issues for the Sustainable Use of Lagoon Fish Resources
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Coastal lagoons form an integral part of marine fisheries and provide important spawning and nursery grounds for many fish species. The economic contributions of lagoon fisheries have not been given adequate consideration by fisheries authorities. Ghana's 550-km coastline includes over 90lagoons. These lagoons and their wetlands provide valuable products and services, which include supporting the fisheries, absorbing floodwaters and protecting biodiversity. They also serve as roosting, nesting and feeding sites for many species of birds. Through the support of the World Bank and the Global Environmental Facility, Ghana has designated five coastal wetland areas as Ramsar sites due to their importance as fishing areas and as roosting, nesting and feeding sites for waterbirds. These are the Muni-Pomadze Lagoon, the Densu Delta, and the Sakumo, Songhor and Keta Lagoons. The Ghana Coastal Wetlands Management Project (GCWMP) was initiated under the aus-pkes of the Ghana Wildlife Department to undertake studies for the sustained management of the resources in these Ramsar sites. The management of lagoon fisheries depends also on understanding the socioeconomic nature of the fisheries, biological knowledge about the resources and capture characteristics of the fishery.