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RESEARCH ARTICLE: Ecosystem Restoration: Evaluating Local Knowledge and Management Systems of Fishermen in Fosu Lagoon, Ghana

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 September 2010

Sarah Darkwa*
Affiliation:
VOTEC Department, Faculty of Education–University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast
Richard Smardon
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental Studies, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York
*
Sarah Darkwa, Department of Vocational and Technical Education (VOTEC), University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana; (phone) 1-233-3321-33803; (e-mail) sardarks@yahoo.co.uk
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Abstract

This article evaluates fishermen's knowledge about the value of mangrove to fish stock and discusses possible management practices to help restore fish stock within the Fosu Lagoon, Ghana. The lagoon was recently added to the list of water bodies with dead zones, raising concern for the people who depend on it for both sustenance and livelihood. The methodology includes in-depth interviews and surveys. Feedback was collected from 120 fishermen representing the different communities that fish the lagoon. Findings did include that fishermen indicated they have some knowledge about mangroves in general and specifically their value to fishing. However, they lack knowledge about the scientific information to manage these mangroves properly to derive the complete benefits that mangroves provide. With its importance to the livelihood of the fishermen and the traditional heritage of the Cape Coast (Ghana) community as a whole, Fosu Lagoon should be the object of more in-depth studies to help restore the fishery resources. This article provides baseline information for developing educational programs to educate the people about the economic, ecological value, and functions of mangroves. The report analyzes one of the obstacles—depletion of mangroves—leading to decline in fish resources in the lagoon. Based on the knowledge of the fishermen, the article provides some recommendations for better management of the lagoon to help reverse fish decline. This work is original, as no such analysis has been carried out before for this region.

Environmental Practice 12:202–213 (2010)

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Copyright
Copyright © National Association of Environmental Professionals 2010

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