HTML Document Marine System of Ghana

This page talks about the biodiversity in the marine ecosystem of Ghana. Even though scanty data is available, some attempt has been made to document what is currently available.

Release date 18/02/2008
Contributor Eric Okoree

Indications of extremely high biodiversity of the benthos of the shallow waters of the continental shelf have been reported in recent studies by the Department of Oceanography & Fisheries of the University of Ghana.  About 60% of the soft bottom benthic macro-fauna encountered are believed to be new and unrecorded.  There is virtually no information on meiofauna (dominated by worms, oligocheates and crustaceans) and micro-fauna (such as ciliates, amoebas and foraminiferans) organisms in benthic waters.

About 392 marine species of organisms comprising 347 fish species belonging to 82 families have been recorded.  There is also evidence available that the coastal waters of the country are being invaded by marine algae, a typical example is Enteromorphal flexuosa, which is believed to have drifted eastward from areas west of Ghana.   

Although the entire Ghanaian coast environment is devoid of any living coral reefs it has been established that the entire continental shelf is traversed by the belt of dead madreporarian coral at a depth of 75cm.

The coastline of Ghana is lined with about 90 lagoons, several estuaries and rocky shore habitats that exhibit distinct array of biological diversities.  Information on faunal, microbial and floral diversity is sparse, except for the five (5) Ramsar sites namely the lagoons of Keta, Songor, Sakum, Densu Delta and Muni-Pomadze where an appreciable amount of knowledge is available. The sixth Ramsar site, the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary, is the only aquatic protected ecosystem. The Site protects the source of drinking water for Kumasi and its environs.