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Mangrove oyster farming: Prospects as supplementary livelihood for a Ghanaian fishing community

Bright Asare, Edward A. Obodai, Emmanuel Acheampong.


The declining marine fish stocks likely due to climate change and other environmental stressors have severe effects on livelihoods of small scale coastal fishing communities. As a result, development of supplementary livelihood has become relevant in recent times as a way of reducing hunger and creating employment. There have been preliminary studies conducted to identify viable aquaculture techniques that will increase the yield (growth rate and size) of mangrove oysters as a means of supplementary livelihood for coastal communities in Ghana. As part of an extended study, this paper assesses the status of oyster fishery in a coastal community and the growth of oysters in the nearby lagoon. We assessed the socio-economic characteristics of the fishery, sizes sold at the market and the appropriate period required to possibly culture the species. An interview guide and oysters purchased from the local market were used to gather information on the status of the fishery while coconut cultches were used to collect oyster spat for culture in the Nakwa lagoon. The results indicated that 60 % of the respondents harvested the oyster for sale, consumption or both. The oysters were available all year round although the sizes and quantity harvested were reported to be reducing in recent times. The sizes of oysters found in the market could be obtained within seven months of culture and with better meat condition. Based on the fast growth rate, high demand and interest of respondents to culture the species, the potential for formal oyster farming at Nakwa is high with the possibility of extending lessons learnt to other coastal communities in Ghana.

Key words: Crassostrea tulipa, Cultches, Culture, Nakwa, Lagoon

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