Cameroon is located in the Gulf of Guinea on the West coast of Africa and is incredibly rich in biodiversity. The country is best known for its terrestrial wildlife, which includes gorillas, chimpanzees, and elephants. But what is less well known is that they also have an incredibly rich marine biodiversity, with many cetaceans, turtles, fish, sharks & rays in our waters.
Shark & ray populations are declining globally at concerning rates, and in the Gulf of Guinea data is still too scarce to uncover the state of these populations. There is huge cause for concern, with many newborn and juveniles of critically endangered species landed regularly in fisheries. Including scalloped hammerheads, blackchin guitarfish, and endangered devil rays. Most sharks & rays reproduce slowly and have few young, so their populations do not have time to replenish in the face of fishing effort.
The African Marine Mammal Conservation Organisation, known as AMMCO, are working to conserve marine megafauna in Cameroon's waters and in 2018 they started a program to study sharks & rays off the Cameroonian coast. To date they have recorded over 39 species of sharks & rays in Cameroon’s waters.
In June 2023 AMMCO and The Manta Trust are hosting the first ever Gulf of Guinea Shark & Ray Network meeting in Kribi, Cameroon. This network will develop a collaborative conservation strategy for sharks & rays in the region. It will also provide a platform to build capacity on research methods, conservation policy strategies, and initiatives to involve local citizens and fishers. But to achieve this we need your help!
There are few opportunities for sharks & rays researchers in West Africa to connect and learn from each other, and the cost of travel can be prohibitive. We are asking for your support to help us provide scholarships for local representatives working on shark & ray conservation to attend this important event.
Please donate today to help us make a change, sharks & rays need us to act now. If we don’t act now, we will not only lose these amazing species, but we will threaten the livelihoods and food security of people who rely on these precious marine ecosystems. Together we can make a difference! Thank you.