Species Diversity and Relative Abundance of Fisheries Resources Found in Beach Seine along the Central Coast of Ghana
The diversity and relative species abundance of fisheries resources were studied from Winneba to Cape Coast on the central coast of Ghana during December 2007 to May 2009. Samples of organisms were collected at random from beach seine landings during the study period. The fishes were counted and identified to the family and species levels. Ecological indices such as Shannon-Wiener diversity index, equitability and Sørenson’s similarity index were used to analyse the data. Specimens from Winneba, Saltpond and Cape Coast comprise 56 species belonging to 30 families. Carangidae, Haemulidae, Clupeidae and Sciaenidae were some of the families, where key species occurred during the study. The relative abundance of key organisms in the beach seine landings include Chloroscombrus chrysurus (26.0%) in 2007, Brachydeuterus auritus (22.8%) in 2008, Ilisha africana (14.7%) in 2008, Sardinella aurita (13.1%) in 2009 and Selene dorsalis (11.2%) in 2007. The organisms that were in low relative abundance were Acanthurus monroviae, Penaeus notialis, Galeoides decadactylus and Trichiurus lepturus. Shannon-Wiener diversity index, estimated in the study, ranged from 2.54 to 2.83. Species equitability range was 0.67–0.77, and the Sørenson’s similarity estimated ranged was 0.66–0.69. The estimations of fish species diversity and equitability were higher (H’ = 2.83; J’ = 0.77) during the 2009 study in the central coast of Ghana. The similarity indicators in the various paired periods during the study showed considerable similarity in the organisms that were exploited by the beach seine in the area. The study explains the linkage between the diversity and relative species abundance of the coastal fisheries resources and offshore marine resources in Ghana, and the need to regulate beach seine operations in order not to over exploit the juvenile stocks.