Within the Gulf of Guinea the information on the cetacean abundance and distribution is scarce. A cetacean survey took place during geophysical surveys (2013–2014) along the coasts of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Due to large group-sizes, melon-headed whales were the most abundant (0.34 animals km−1) followed by Fraser’s dolphins and short-finned pilot whales. Range state records were confirmed for melon-headed whale and Fraser’s dolphin in Ivoirian waters and ten further species represented first at-sea sightings. Fraser’s dolphins, melon-headed whales, pantropical spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and pilot whales were recorded in areas with the highest fishing densities. Melon-headed whales, pilot whales, and rough-toothed dolphins were observed in vicinity of trawlers; bottlenose dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, and pilot whales in vicinity of canoes. The poor knowledge on population trends of cetaceans in this unique upwelling region, together with a high demand for cetacean products for human consumption (as “marine bushmeat”) may lead to a potential decline of some species that may go unnoticed. These new insights can provide a foundation for the urgently required risk assessments of cetacean mortality in fisheries within the northern Gulf of Guinea.
The objective of this study was to gather new information on the poorly monitored local cetacean populations in order to understand the threat posed by interactions with fisheries either due to unintended bycatch (entanglement) or direct capture. The information presented provides a valuable insight into the occurrence, relative abundance, and at-sea distribution of cetaceans and an indication as to which cetacean species appear to be under the greatest fishing pressure. As such, these findings provide new directions for future assessments of fishing pressure on cetaceans through incidental catches and directed takes.
Information regarding location of fishing vessels is available upon request
This section explains attributes included in the original dataset.
OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only.
Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.
Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downloadable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission.
Attributes in dataset
Attribute (table column)
Unique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
Date and time at local time zone
Date and time at UTC
The name of the observer who first sighted the animal