MUNTAKA CHASANT
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Acadja Atidza Black Mangroves Mangroves in Ghana Society

Mangroves in Ghana: Man Cuts Down Mangrove Trees To Construct Atidza Traps

Video and photos of a man transporting mangrove branches over the Densu River. Mangroves, also known as the Guardians of the Coast, provide incredibly important ecosystem services, including support for threatened species.

September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

14 Min read time

Man transports black mangrove branches over the Densu River to construct brush parks. Accra, Ghana. Copyright © 2020 Muntaka Chasant

Video and photos of a man transporting mangrove branches over the Densu River. Mangroves, also known as the Guardians of the Coast, provide incredibly important ecosystem services, including support for threatened species.

My heart sunk when I turned and saw the man in the photo above (40 seconds video below) transports black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) branches — he had just cut down — on a canoe near the Densu Delta lagoon in Accra, Ghana’s capital city.

Fishermen on the Densu River use mangroves vegetation in the area to construct Atidza or Acadja brush parks.

About 3 minutes after the man had meandered his way south, the man above (a different person) showed up.

All within a span of 5 minutes.

Atidza/Acadja around the Densu Delta lagoon involves the use of mangrove brush bundles to create artificial habitats to attract fish, including blackchin tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron).

But mangroves are incredibly important trees, and cutting them down exposes the Densu Delta’s wetland ecosystems to erosion, waves, winds, and floods. This even threatens coastal communities.

Mangroves are incredibly important trees, and cutting them down exposes the Densu Delta’s wetland ecosystems to erosion, waves, winds, and floods.

See photos of fishermen engaged in Atidza/Acadja: Fishing in Ghana: Atidza (Acadja) Brush Park Fishing

Why Are Mangroves Important?

Mangroves also serve as nursery habitats for fish and crustaceans, including different species of crabs.

Aside from providing habitats for hundreds of species (including threatened and endangered species), they also filter and trap sediments and other pollutants, helping to maintain water quality.

These tough trees that thrive in salty conditions also trap and store more carbon1 than even rainforests2, helping to tackle climate change.

Mangroves trees in Ghana are used as charcoal and fuelwood, and building construction materials.

Reclaiming lands for human settlement, agriculture, and salt pans also threaten these supertrees.

I will be writing extensively on this with a short video and lots of photographs, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, when time permits.

Copyright © 2020 Muntaka Chasant

Sources

  1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aabe1c/pdf
  2. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0208

September 8, 2020

14 Min read time

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