Outlining the Offshore Marine Environment and Mammal Habitation with the Changing Climate in the Gulf of Guinea: The Case of Ghana’s Waters

Authors: Anthony D Sackey et al.


Section : Research Article

Published Date : Aug 02, 2021


Understanding environmental baseline parameters within Gulf of Guinea offshore areas as relevant delineating conditions favorably ensuring the survival of marine life bounded within was examined against Environmental Baseline Surveys (EBS) conducted during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by licensed oil and gas operators of the region. The case of the EBS within Ghana’s western basin is mainly because offshore marine habitation over a decade has seen a rise in anthropogenic activities. Current concerns span pollution, over-exploitation of natural resources, air emissions, growing anthropogenic activity, and climate change. A series of samplings were taking at essential offshore and coastal facility locations to investigate baseline ocean environment; understand the nature of ecology and identify issues of vulnerabilities that could ensure destructive tendencies. The paper observes EBS conditions were consistent with findings of EIAs. The tropical nature of the region meant high radiation influx from the sun leading to the thermal insulation of the area. Temperatures recorded are a direct function of solar energy absorbed in the atmosphere delimiting humidity over infrared wave outputs, atmospheric precipitations and occasional poor visibility. Absorbed heat energy in the ocean depicted a generalized thermocline under 300 meters depth at the surface. Several surface and underwater factors such as wind influenced the salinity, and temperature along water-depth, sound velocity, and dissolved oxygen concentrations useful to marine animals such as turtles, seagull, pilot whales, dolphins, and sharks; clustered along with various webs of the food chain influenced by the seasonality of upwelling. The main challenge to the environment was the concerns of growing anthropogenic activities, plastic pollution and oil spills from operations and possible blowouts.