Conservation of the Critically Endangered Hammerhead Sharks in Ghana

Tabitha Adinorkwor Alimo

The great hammerhead and scalloped hammerhead sharks have undergone more than 80% depletion globally in three generations pushing them to the brink of extinction. Their major threats include fins and meat trade, by-catch mortalities, and poor release protocols. Hence, this project seeks to provide key research data needed to develop a conservation action plan to ensure the protection of scalloped and great hammerhead sharks and their habitat, as well as train fishers on fisheries regulations to reduce exploitation of the species in Ghana. Fishermen will be trained on the shark safe release protocols. Also, 150 fishermen and traders will be interviewed to elicit both qualitative and quantitative data on current population and distribution trends, socioeconomic drivers, and trade dynamics of the species. A series of workshops will be organized to devise management measures for the hammerhead sharks. This project will ensure that bycatch mortality will be reduced by 20%. A total of 200 fishermen will be trained on safe by-catch release protocols, and comprehensive information will be collected on the population changes and drivers of the species' exploitation.