Research-based management of Gulf of Guinea

Start date
January 1, 2018
End date
December 31, 2020
Project code
Total grant
Contact person
Torkel Gissel Nielsen

Coastal marine ecosystems worldwide are threatened by multiple human-induced stressors, ranging from global stressors to local pollution, habitat loss and over-exploitation of resources, and resulting in fast degradation of coastal ecosystems and the services that they provide. Gulf of Guinea large marine ecosystem is a hotspot of multiple stressors. The maritime threats to GGLME include oil, heavy metals and litter from shipping and offshore oil exploration, which - together with land-based pollution and climate change - can result in unknown synergistic, antagonistic or additive effects to the marine biota, with unknown detrimental effects on the marine ecosystem. Ghana’s government is giving priority to prevention of pollution of the marine environment, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals and the regulations from International Maritime Organisation. However, lack of regulatory capacity and data on maritime and marine pollution for research-based management result in challenges in implementation and enforcement of the regulations. HOTSPOT addresses these challenges, focusing on 1) promoting the sustainable management of Ghana’s coastal waters, 2) facilitating the implementation of the IMO regulations in Ghana and 3) building research capacity in maritime pollution management. HOTSPOT will produce new scientific results on spatial and temporal distribution and proportional importance of maritime pollution, on cumulative context-specific effects of multiple stressors on plankton communities, and on the mechanisms governing species responses to multiple stressors. HOTSPOT results are disseminated to the authorities through an established platform in Centre for Coastal Management and through collaboration with the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency. HOTSPOT contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 14 – Life below water, which is one of the priority SDGs of the Danish development strategy in growth and transition countries