Scientific Committee Meeting, Agadir, Morocco, June 2010 SC/62/SM10
An update on the catch composition and other aspects
of cetacean exploitation in Ghana
Joseph S. Debrah1, Patrick K. Ofori-Danson2 and Koen Van Waerebeek 3,4
1 Fisheries Biology Lecturer, Dept.of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2 Senior Lecturer, Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, P.O. Box LG99, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
3 Conservation and Research of West African Aquatic Mammals (COREWAM-Ghana), P.O. Box LG99, EcoLab,
University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
4 Centro Peruano de Estudios Cetológicos (CEPEC), Museo de Delfines, Pucusana, Peru.
Photographs of 231 landed specimens (212 identifiable) were analysed to determine species composition of cetacean take in
Ghana's artisanal fisheries in 1995-2010, the most comprehensive sample documented in West Africa. The three most commonly
landed species are: 24.5% Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene), 13.2% pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata), 12.3%
common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Also regularly caught are: 10.4% melon-headed whale (Peponocephala
electra), 9.4% short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), 9.4% long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis).
Occasionally landed are: 6.1% rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), 4.7% Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), 3.1% kogiids
(including Kogia sima) and 2.8% spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris). Rarely (<2%) landed are: Atlantic spotted dolphin
(Stenella frontalis), Fraser's dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) and pygmy killer whale
(Feresa attenuata). One small sperm whale was recorded taken offshore.
Catch rate estimators, cetaceans landed per month (cpm) and cetaceans landed per day (cpd) were derived for 3 ports, but the
national situation is unknown. At Axim, in 23 months, 130 cetaceans were observed landed (mean 5.65 ±SE 1.19 cpm); prorated
per annum, 67.8 ±SE 14.28. During high-intensity surveying Jan-Nov 2003, 52 cetaceans were recorded in 192 days, with mean
daily landings 0.271 cpd, prorated per annum 99.0. Reported landings at Axim in Aug-Dec 2007 were limited (0.087 cpd),
prorated per annum 31.8 cetaceans, however a negative sampling bias was indicated making this cpd questionable. At Apam in
1995-99 mean monthly landings were a very low 1.117 ( ±SE 0.23 cpm); prorated per annum 13.40 (±SE 2.76) cetaceans. In Oct
2001-Oct 2003, 128 cetaceans were observed, ie mean monthly landings 5.57 ±SE 1.29 cpm (n= 23, range 1-25), prorated per
annum 66.84 (±SE 15.48). Intensive surveying in Jan-Nov 2003 saw 87 cetaceans landed on 267days, or 0.362 cpd; prorated per
annum 132.22. The cpm in 2001-03 increased very significantly compared to 1995-99. Highest catches occurred at Dixcove: in 25
months (Oct 2001-Oct 2003) 564 cetaceans were observed, mean monthly landings 22.56 ±SE 3.26 cpm (n=25, range 6-69),
prorated per annum 270.72 ±SE 39.12 cetaceans. Mean daily landings rate 0.74 cpd. In 2009-10, daily landings became the norm
with frequent multiple landings; highest one-day catch >20 dolphins. In April 2010, of 9 cetaceans landed in 7 days, 3 were
butchered before a team could document them, supporting caveat that observed landings underestimate true landings. An intensive
biological sampling programme and nation-wide recording of cetacean captures are needed immediately, to guide the formulation
and implementation of effective management and conservation measures.
KEYWORDS: SMALL CETACEANS; LANDINGS; CATCH RATES; PORT MONITORING; GULF OF GUINEA
In comparison with the low to moderate levels of information available on cetacean-fisheries interactions for some
areas off northwest Africa (e.g. Maigret, 1994; Van Waerebeek et al., 2000, 2003; Zeeberg et al., 2006; Bamy et al.,
2010) and southwest Africa (e.g. Best and Ross, 1977; Findlay et al., 1992; Peddemors, 1999; Peddemors et al.,
1997), the little what is known for the Gulf of Guinea1 largely relates to incidental observations (Van Waerebeek and
De Smet, 1996; Van Waerebeek et al., 2004; Uwagbae and Van Waerebeek, 2010; Segniagbeto and Van Waerebeek,
2010) with the exception of Ghana where small cetacean captures have been documented periodically, albeit on a
limited scale, since 1995 (Ofori-Danson and Agbogah, 1995; Ofori-Danson and Odei, 1997; Van Waerebeek and
Ofori-Danson, 1999; Debrah, 2001; Ofori-Danson et al., 2003; Van Waerebeek et al., 2009; this paper). Until 2000,
8 species (Debrah, 2000) were known to be taken in Ghana's artisanal fisheries, then updated to 14 and 15 species
(Ofori-Danson et al., 2003; Van Waerebeek et al., 2009). The first approximation of the species catch composition
was derived from a relatively limited sample of 58 specimens examined in a 3-year period (1998-2000). Species
were very unequally exploited, with three of them, Clymene dolphin Stenella clymene, pantropical spotted dolphin
Stenella attenuata and common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus, representing 67.2% of all landings, while
other species were much less commonly or even rarely taken (Ofori-Danson et al., 2003). This paper covers a partial
1 definition as by the International Hydrographic Organization (1953)
analysis of aspects of Ghana port monitoring since 1995, in particular it provides a significantly improved estimate of
the relative catch composition as well as explores apparent trends in cetacean catches. This preliminary evaluation
should at least allow managers to focus on the most affected species and help define and implement appropriate
MATERIAL AND METHODS
As in many other maritime nations, no national scheme for the systematical data recording of cetacean landings is
operating in Ghana. This may partly be a matter of limited resources, but it is also an awareness issue because
captured cetaceans are still too often considered, equivocally, to constitute an unwanted by-catch, instead of a fully
utilised marine living resource that begs proper management. Partial and periodical port surveying has, so far, mostly
been co-ordinated by fisheries science academics (Universities of Ghana and Cape Coast) concerned with the
scarcity of data despite high mortality levels.
In the field, cetacean landings were recorded (voluntarily) by fisheries officers or by one of the authors. Most
information originates from the Western Region, mainly from three artisanal ports known for their regular catches,
i.e. Dixcove (04°48'N,01°57'W), Apam (05°17'N,00°44'W) and Axim (04°51.3’N, 02°13.5’W). Numbers (without
species data) landed at Apam in 1995-1997 are from Ofori-Adu (1998); 1998-99 data are from Debrah (2000). A
survey period with optimal coverage stretched between October 2001 and October 2003.
Species composition was determined from a 15yr (1994-2010) pooled sample of photographed specimens
(N=231, of which Npos =212 positively identified). Photographic evidence is archived both at EcoLab, University of
Ghana and at CEPEC. Estimators for relative capture rates were defined as cetaceans landed per month (cpm) and
cetaceans landed per diem (cpd), the latter for periods with intensive (daily) surveying and reporting. Annual
estimates are provided prorated from either cpm or cpd (365.24 days per annum-base) and, in the latter case, some
limited bias from lack of stratification is acknowledged. However, we believe such bias would be negligible
compared to the existing negative sampling bias from cetaceans landed but not reported/tallied.
Fisheries officers with an intimate knowledge of the local fishers communities agreed to count, and if time
allowed, document, any cetaceans on the landing beaches during their customary controls of fishing activities.
Periods of low or no effort alternated with periods of higher effort, depending on project activity/funding, the
presence of biologists in the field, as well as the officers' personal interest. Data requested comprised: observer
name, port, date, fishing gear (drift gillnet or purse-seine), daily fishing effort (number of boats landing), standard
body length (SL), tooth counts and photographs. Due to understaffing, officers could not supervise the totality of
landing operations that often occur simultaneously at different landing beaches of a port. An indeterminate number
of landed animals are not observed. In addition, not all carcasses are landed as an unassessed percentage are used
offshore for shark bait (Debrah, 2000). Our statistics reflect minimum values for actual removals.
Observers were asked to daily note entries including on off-effort days and days without cetaceans. Authors regularly
visited stations, collected notes, replaced equipment and serviced stipendia. Compact cameras plus film, and in the
later stages, digital cameras, were provided. Print photographs were digitized. Originally we attempted to use species
identifications by observers but this was abandoned when cross-checks showed such IDs to be unreliable. All
specimens were re-assessed and identified by at least two of the authors (including KVW), exclusively based on
photographs. If unclear, they were assigned to 'unidentified small cetacean'. Recently skin samples were collected
opportunistically. Dolphin heads were acquired and deposited in a cranial reference collection at the University of
Ghana, but much larger samples of both skulls and tissues will be needed for in-depth population studies.
Nation-wide cetacean takes
Video evidence recorded from a drilling platform in Ghana's Jubilee Field shows an apparently deliberate capture of
a small sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus by the crew of a large canoe. This adds the sperm whale as 16th to the
current list of 15 species documented taken in artisanal fisheries, the great majority in drift gillnets and a few in set
gillnets and purse-seines (Van Waerebeek and Ofori-Danson, 1999; Debrah, 2000; Ofori-Danson et al., 2003; Van
Waerebeek et al., 2009). The catch composition is shown in Table 1. The three most commonly landed cetaceans are:
24.5% Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene), 13.2% pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) and 12.3%
common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Also regularly landed are: 10.4% melon-headed whale
(Peponocephala electra), 9.4% short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus), 9.4% long-beaked common
dolphin (Delphinus capensis). Occasionally captured are: 6.1% rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), 4.7%
Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), 3.1% kogiids (including Kogia sima) and 2.8% spinner dolphin (Stenella
longirostris). The species that are rarely landed (<2%) include: Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis), Fraser's
dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) and pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata).
Most cetaceans were netted in wide-mesh drift gillnets which target primarily large pelagic vertebrates, mainly
skipjack tuna (Katsuwomis pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), blue
marlin (Makaira nigricans), swordfish (Xiphias gladius), dolphin fish (Coryphaena hippurus), wahoo
(Acanthocybium solanderi), barracuda (Sphyraena sp.), manta ray (Manta birostris), blue shark (Prionace glauca),
and some mustelid sharks. Commercialization of cetaceans and, to a lesser degree, of several species of sea turtles
(Cheloniidae), for food contribute to the economic viability of the gillnet fishery. Cetaceans, originally by-catches,
have now become secondary target species. Most cetaceans are landed freshly dead following entanglement, but
occasionally if animals are alive when retrieved they are killed, with piercing lance-like metals, cutlasses, hand-
harpoons or sticks (Debrah, 2000), further supporting the intentional nature of the exploitation. Both landing and
utilization of small cetaceans occurs overtly and is socially accepted. However, in the cities, indications are that most
Ghanaians are even unaware of the presence of dolphins in their waters. In the Volta Delta region, traditional taboos
against catching dolphins, for instance among the Ewe people, are fast eroding. It is unknown to what extent, and
how precisely, cetaceans are used as bait in shark fisheries. Strong demand and high prices for shark fins as an export
product to Asian markets constitute a powerful incentive to boost shark fisheries. However prices for cetaceans have
steadily increased and, in 2010, roughly equal these for similarly-sized, large billfishes.
Observed monthly landings for a 23 month period (between Oct 2001-Oct 2003, Table 2) indicate a total of 130
small cetaceans reported landed at the Axim fishing port (mean cpm=5.65 ±SE 1.19, median 4, range 0-20. prorated
per annum, 67.8 ±SE 14.28). However, the most intensive and accurate monitoring effort in Axim occurred in the
period January-November 2003 when 52 cetaceans were recorded landed in 192 days, or a mean daily landings rate
of 0.271 cpd. Prorated per annum gives a 99.0 estimate. Reported landings in August-December 2007 (Table 3) were
much reduced, with a mean daily landings rate of 0.087 cpd (prorated per annum: 31.8 cetaceans). However,
indications were that some observers spent considerably less time surveying landing beaches even while marking
'on-effort' days and a significant number of cetaceans may have been missed, leading to an underestimate.
Monitoring in Axim was interrupted.
Reported cetacean landings at Apam before 2000 were: in 1995 (n=12), 1996 (n=18), 1997 (n=18), 1998 (n=12),
1999 (n=7), with a monthly mean landings rate of 1.117cpm (±SE 0.23cpm) and no significant variation between
years (Kruskal-Wallis, 4.51, df 4, p=0.341). Prorated gives a per annum mean of 13.40 (±SE 2.76) landed cetaceans
for the 1995-99 period.
Monthly landings at Apam recorded over 23 months (between October 2001-October 2003) are shown in
Table 2. At least 128 small cetaceans were landed in that period, with mean monthly landings of 5.57 cpm ±SE 1.29
(n= 23, median 4, range 1-25); which prorated gives a per annum mean of 66.84 (±SE 15.48) landed cetaceans.
The most detailed record keeping occurred in January-November 2003 when 87 small cetaceans were reported
landed on 267 monitoring days, or a daily landings rate of 0.362 cpd, twice as high as the estimated cpd (0.183) for
the less intensily surveyed 23months; prorated per annum estimate is 132.22 cetaceans. The cpm in the period 2001-
03 increased very significantly compared to 1995-99 (Mann-Whitney U= 325.5; p<0.0001).
The highest catches have been reported consistently from Dixcove. Monthly landings recorded over 25 months
(between October 2001-October 2003) show a total of 564 small cetaceans observed landed (Table 2). Mean monthly
landings of 22.56 ±SE 3.26 cpm (n=25, median 17, range 6-69) prorated to per annum estimate is 270.72 ±SE 39.12
cetaceans landed. The mean daily landings rate was 0.74 cpd. During the intensive monitoring period of January-
November 2003, 174 cetaceans were reported over 241 days (0.722 cpd), practically the same cpd value as for the 2-
year period. More recently, in 2009-10, while detailed statistics were not available for this report, daily landings have
become the norm, with multiple landings per day common. The highest one-day catch observed exceeded 20
specimens (senior officer Amiah Johnson, pers.comm. to KVW, 22 April 2010). In 7 days (17-23 April 2010) of
survey effort at Dixcove, we recorded 9 cetaceans: 3 S. bredanensis, 2 T. truncatus, 1 juvenile G. macrorhynchus,
and 3 unidentified dolphins sold and butchered before we could reach the landing spot, confirming the thesis that
observed landings underestimate true landings.
During 2001-2003, the combined landings at the three studied ports show seasonal peaks in landings during
the periods November-January (Figure 1), the reason of which is unclear.
A few landings opportunistically recorded during brief visits of other ports (Table 1) cannot reflect the extent of
captures there (e.g. 2 T. truncatus at Jamestown/1994, 1 S. clymene at Winneba/1998; 1 S. clymene at Ada-Foah/
2003), however these serve to remind us that cetacean catches are not limited to the habitually monitored ports.
Eventually all Ghanaian ports will need to be surveyed systematically.
No estimates of total cetacean landings in Ghana are available, as (incomplete) data exist only for three ports. An
estimated 99 cetaceans were landed at Axim in 2003. The 2007 estimate of 32 animals was thought to be greatly
underestimated due to poor effort compliance leading to landed animals being missed. At Apam, mean annual
landings for the earliest recording period 1995-99 were estimated at a mere 13.4 cetaceans. This figure increased
tenfold to an estimated 133 cetaceans landed in 2003. Highest catches were seen at Dixcove, with a mean of 270
cetaceans landed per annum in the years 2001-03. Although raw data of most recent years have not yet been
analysed, indications are that numbers have sharply increased, daily or even multiple landings have become the norm
at Dixcove, and its yearly catches most probably now amount to the higher hundreds, especially taking into account
the bias caused by missed landings. Inevitable takes at Tema, Jamestown, Shama, Half-Assini, Winneba, Ada, Kpone
and other, smaller, fishing communities remain unassessed, but some of these could also be significant. Finally,
bycatches and potential landings by the large-scale, industrial fisheries (e.g. at Tema), including offshore tuna purse-
seining, have not been monitored.
Small cetaceans are recorded harvested along the Ghanaian coast since at least 1994, but some earlier reports go back
to 1956 (Van Waerebeek et al., 2009). Over 97% of cetaceans caught are Delphinidae, the exceptions include a few
kogiids (only K. sima confirmed) and a single ziphiid. A quarter of catches (24.5%) affected S. clymene, with
indications that the species is less commonly landed recently. The high take prompted CMS to include the West
African population of S. clymene on Appendix II in 2008. Second and third most exploited species are, as found
before (Ofori-Danson et al., 2003), respectively, S. attenuata and T. truncatus. The latter includes offshore stock
individuals (from fishery data) but inshore stock individuals may also be involved. The species that rarely showed up
in our sample may either be that, rarely exploited and under no particular threat, or be remnants of once common
species in Ghana's waters. The rare appearance of spinner dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins are, at least,
unexpected. A single killer whale Orcinus orca museum record was recognised as possibly derived from a by-catch
but no captures are confirmed. Among ziphiids, a single Cuvier's beaked whale was recorded (Ofori-Danson et al.,
2003; Van Waerebeek et al., 2009). The Atlantic humpback dolphin Sousa teuszii has been consistently absent from
records since port surveillance started (Ofori-Danson et al., 2003; Van Waerebeek et al., 2003, 2009). A historic
population collapse due to by-catches predating monitoring has been suggested (Van Waerebeek et al., 2004). The
species' preference for shallow, nearshore and estuarine habitat would render it particularly vulnerable to ubiquitous
inshore set gillnets, beach seines and other anthropogenic disturbances. Alternatively, a natural distribution gap may
exist off Ghana/Togo related to periodical cool upwelling. Interviews with local residents in the Volta Delta
concorded in that inshore-dwelling dolphins have become scarce, and -from behavioural clues- may be bottlenose
dolphins. Evidence from Benin and Brass Island, Niger Delta, shows that inshore bottlenose dolphins are present in
the Bight of Benin (Uwagbae and Van Waerebeek, 2010).
Variation between ports
About 74% of all recorded catches have originated from Dixcove (Table 2) where a large community of drift gillnet
fishers is based. However, the port has also received most attention, has been monitored for longer periods, and its
fisheries officer (A. Johnson) has been exceptionally proactive. Lower numbers recorded at Apam are attributable to
less intense survey effort, the west-ward migration of gillnet fishers and a greater distance from the port to the
continental slope (translating in fewer trips) where many cetaceans forage. Axim harbours a proportionally bigger
share of purse-seiners which target small schooling fishes and which infrequently take cetaceans. Landings at Axim
are thought to be underestimated due to a negative sampling bias.
Trends and the utilization of cetaceans
While no quantifiable data exist to evaluate the extent cetaceans are used as bait in shark fisheries, most captured
animals seem to be landed, butchered on land and sold for human consumption. Salted, smoked or dried, processed
cetacean products are 'exported' mainly to the hinterland. Exploitation acquired a commercial character with the
increase in demand. Currently prices for dolphins are as high as those for similarly-sized billfishes such as sailfish
and marlin. In contrast with neighbouring countries Togo (see Segniagbeto and Van Waerebeek, 2010) and Côte
d'Ivoire (A. Johnson, pers.comm. to KVW, April 2010) where the overt landing of cetaceans is not permitted, at
Ghana ports cetaceans are landed and sold without impediment. This offers the undeniable advantage of allowing
catch statistics, the study of trends and provides opportunities for biological studies based on carcass sampling
protocols (e.g. morphological variation, growth and reproduction, feeding ecology, stock identification, genetics,
parasitology, contaminant loads, and pathology).
Brashares et al. (2004) found that fish supply was related negatively to the volume of bushmeat of 41 large
mammal species sold in local markets in Ghana. The growing commercialization of small cetacean products for
human consumption 1995-2009 has occurred after a gradual decline in Ghana of the per capita fish supply since 1975
(Armah et al., 1996; Brashares et al., 2004) and a decline in reported total catches of aquatic organisms since 1999
(UNEP, 2006). This causal relationship was frequently cited by interviewed fishermen to explain their increasing
captures of dolphins and sea turtles. This was predicted with the definition of the term 'marine bushmeat' (Alfaro-
Shigueto and Van Waerebeek, 2001; Clapham and Van Waerebeek, 2007). It does not bode well for the future, as the
potential exists for a run-away process where annual dolphin catches could rise from the high hundreds into the
thousands, with the danger of a collapse in one or more populations, if fish stocks in the region deplete even further.
Status and management issues
The status of exploited species cannot presently be evaluated, as no population estimates for the Gulf of Guinea, nor
estimates of total removals are available. The minimum landings at three fishing ports however are sufficiently high
to express concern about the sustainability of current, and foreseeable increasing, levels of exploitation of S.
clymene, S. attenuata and T. truncatus.
While aquatic mammals are among the first schedule of Ghana's 1971 Wildlife Conservation Regulations (LI. 685),
and are protected by law, there are no explicit instructions concerning the use of cetaceans killed in nets. Banning
cetacean landings might appear an obvious necessity, however such a measure must be carefully evaluated in the
light of local context as, by itself, it would not guarantee an effective protection for cetacean populations.
Enforcement of a ban must be both feasible and acceptable by coastal communities. Furthermore, by-catch is largely
inevitable as long as gillnets are deployed and will continue to produce dolphin deaths. Also, covert landings may
become established and illegal trade (black market) may not be avoidable. If in addition alternative uses for cetacean
products are created or strengthen (e.g. use as bait), then cetacean catches may remain as high as in a pre-ban
environment, as demonstrated in Peru (Van Waerebeek and Reyes, 1994; Mangel et al., 2010).
To stimulate research and public awareness of aquatic mammals in Ghana and enhance regional collaboration the
ngo COREWAM-Ghana (Conservation and Research of West African Aquatic Mammals) was set up.
Further recommended actions include:
- The tallying of cetacean landings be implemented as a standard procedure for fisheries observers at the national
level, recognizing that small cetaceans are a de facto exploited marine living resource and therefore need to be
monitored on a permanent basis.
- Greatly improve information flow to Ghanaian citizens and initiate an informed national debate on the issue of
cetacean exploitation. Although cetaceans enjoy some legal protection there is no functional, long-term strategy to
effectively manage populations.
- Implement an intensive biological sampling programme based on fresh carcasses, collecting data on morphological
variation, reproduction, growth, feeding, stock identification, genetics, migratory habits, etc. Utilize platforms of
opportunity for information on distribution, relative abundance and behaviour.
- Training and support of field personnel of Fisheries and Wildlife divisions.
Fisheries observers at Dixcove, Apam and Axim are thanked for their essential contributions. Without A. Johnson's
enthusiastic collaboration, work at Dixcove would not have been nearly as successful. Over the years, financial
support was provided by various institutions, mainly CMS/UNEP (WAFCET-3 Project), IFAW, WDCS and Leopold
III Fund for Nature Research and Exploration. Additional support was granted by Colombus Zoological Park
Association, Chicago Zoological Society, and Varda Group.
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Seasonality in cetacean landings
number cetaceans landed
Figure 1. Seasonality in monthly landings of small cetaceans is demonstrated by the pooled samples of three Ghanaian ports
(Apam, Axim and Dixcove), as recorded by fisheries observers between October 2001 and August 2003. Peak landings occurred
from November till January.
Table 1. Species composition, stratified by year, of small cetacean landings at Ghana fishing ports. Numbers are subsamples of total landed cetaceans and include only specimens for
which identifiable photographs are available. The 19 specimens listed in the “unidentified” category are linked to photographs of substandard quality, some of which are under study
but most show only body parts (e.g. tail stocks) that cannot be reliably assigned to species.
Fishing port → DIXCOVE AXIM APAM Ghana
All yrs Dixcove
All yrs Axim
All yrs Apam
Tursiops truncatus 1 8 3 2 2 14 9.0 0 1 7 2 10 22.7 2 26 12.3
Grampus griseus 2 1 1 2 6 3.8 1 1 1 2 3 6.8 10 4.7
Delphinus capensis 2 3 2 7 5 19 12.2 1 1 0 0.0 20 9.4
Steno bredanensis 4 1 3 5 3.2 0 1 1 6 8 18.2 13 6.1
Lagenodelphis hosei 1 1 0.6 1 1 0 0.0 2 0.9
Stenella clymene 31 7 2 7 47 30.1 0 1 4 5 11.4 52 24.5
Stenella longirostris 4 4 2.6 1 1 0 0.0 6 2.8
Stenella attenuata 3 5 9 17 10.9 1 1 1 9 10 22.7 28 13.2
Stenella frontalis 1 1 0.6 0 0 0.0 1 0.5
Peponocephala electra 3 14 3 1 21 13.5 0 1 1 2.3 22 10.4
Feresa attenuata 1 1 0.6 0 0 0.0 1 0.5
Globicephala macrorhynchus 1 12 1 1 1 1 16 10.3 1 1 1 1 2 4.5 1 20 9.4
Pseudorca crassidens 1 1 0.6 0 3 3 6.8 4 1.9
Kogia sima 0 0.0 0 1 1 2.3 1 0.5
Kogia sp. 3 3 1.9 0 1 1 2.3 1 5 2.4
Ziphius cavirostris 0 0.0 1 1 0 0.0 1 0.5
unidentified 1 1 10 3 1 1 2
Pooled sample 156 100.0 7 44 100.0 3212 100.0
YEAR MONTH APAM DIXCOVE AXIM TOTAL
2001 October 0 6 4 10
2001 November 9 14 12 35
2001 December 0 24 13 37
2002 January 3 64 14 81
2002 February 4 17 1 22
2002 March 2 19 2 23
2002 April 0 24 2 26
2002 May - 19 - 19
2002 June - 17 - 17
2002 July 4 35 1 40
2002 August 7 20 0 27
2002 September 2 11 5 18
2002 October 0 14 8 22
2002 November 4 36 12 52
2002 December 6 69 12 87
2003 January 1 37 5 43
2003 February 15 7 1 8
2003 March 4 40 7 51
2003 April 3 17 1 21
2003 May 0 13 0 13
2003 June 10 9 1 20
2003 July 8 9 0 17
2003 August 5 20 1 26
2003 September 16 10 20 46
2003 October 25 13 8 46
TOTAL 128 564 130 822
% (15.6) (68.6) (15.8) (100)
Table 2. Monthly landings of small cetaceans, as recorded by fisheries observers for 23
months (Apam and Axim) or 25 months (Dixcove) in the period October 2001- October 2003
at three ports in Western Region, Ghana. Species were pooled because reliable identifications
exist only for subsamples (see Table 1).
Axim 2007 # cetaceans
landed/ # on-
August 4 / 17days 0.235 cpd 7.3
September 3/ 30 days 0.100 cpd 3
October 2/ 31 days 0.064 cpd 2
November 1/ 30 days 0.033 cpd 1
December 2/ 30 days 0.066 cpd 2
Total period 12/ 138 days 0.087 cpd
Table 3. Small cetaceans reported landed at Axim port in August-December 2007, as recorded
by local fisheries observers. Numbers must be interpreted as minimum numbers taken.