Pagrus caeruleostictus, Dentex canariensis and Dentex gibbosus are three of the commercially important seabreams landed on the shores of Ghana. This study analysed the catch trends in the landings and distribution of the seabreams in Ghanaian waters. Monthly data were collected from three fishing sites along the coast. Secondary data comprising of fish catch and effort data from the artisanal fisheries were collected from the Fisheries Scientific Survey Division (FSSD) of the Fisheries Commission, and from the Fridtjof Nansen 2005 and 2016 cruise reports. The data from the Fridtjof Nansen cruise reports were used to map out the habitat distributions of the three species in the years 2005 and 2016 using ArcMap 10.5. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) was calculated for only P. caeruleostictus and D. gibbosus from the year 2000 to 2017, since catch and effort data for D. canariensis were unavailable. P. caeruleostictus was the most abundant species out of the three, making up about 56 % of the total fish samples collected; while D. gibbosus was the least (11 %). It was observed that the three species were distributed from shallow to deeper waters, with P. caeruleostictus being the most widely distributed and occurring more in shallower waters. D. canariensis was sparsely distributed and found more on the western side, while D. gibbosus occurred in deeper waters. It was also observed that the catches of P. caeruleostictus and D. gibbosus had declined over the past decade, though the effort seemed to have been fairly stable. The results suggested that the distribution of the seabreams in 2005 had changed slightly from 2016, while the abundance declined from 2008 to 2017. The decreasing trends in catches, coupled with the changes in the distribution of the species requires rigorous conservation measures.
Key words: Catch trends, Exploitation, Fishing effort, Seabream fishery