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Monitoring of marine mammals and protection of the African manatee on the Cameroonian coast

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Monitoring of marine mammals and protection of the African manatee on the Cameroonian coast

The waters of the Cameroonian coast, (402 km), are home to marine mammals, (cetaceans, sirenians), sea turtles but also a large amount of fishery resources which attract many artisanal and semi-artisanal fishermen. These marine habitats are therefore under great pressure, which also comes from many oil and gas operators building extensive port infrastructure.

 

The entire Cameroonian coast, as well as the Lake Ossa Fauna Reserve, located 50 km from Douala in the Littoral Region, are frequented by the species of sirenian called manatee, (Trichechus senegalensis, VU), also present in the Sanaga river.

 

The project is led by the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organization (AMMCO), whose main objective is to improve the conservation status of marine mammals and in particular the manatee. The innovative aspect of this project lies in the development of a mobile application for the collection of observational data to set up a participatory monitoring network.

 

Due to the overlap of critical manatee feeding areas with fishing areas, bycatch is high and conflicts between fishermen and manatees erupt, resulting in increased poaching, which causes the death of around 150 manatees. every year.