Lab at University of Cape Coast

Research activities in HOTSPOT

The research activities in the HOTSPOT project are devided into five parts.  

Identifying the major contaminants and their effects 

Responsible partner: DTU Aqua
Additional participants: University of Cape Coast

This part of the project combines field sampling and laboratory experiments to understand the magnitude and ecosystem effects of multiple contaminants.


Investigating the effects of main stressors 

Responsible partner: DTU Aqua
Additional participants: University of Cape Coast, COWI & DTU Environment

This part of the project includes the experimental work on the effects of multiple stressors on single species (bottle incubations) and on populations and communities (mesocosm).

Research activities include:

  • Investigation of the effects of single and multiple contaminants on the selected key species, under temperature stress.
  • Mesocosm experiments with plankton communities exposed to selected stressors.
  • Sample analysis.
  • Delivery of the data to the data base.

Model development

Responsible partner: University of Cape Coast
Additional participants: DTU Aqua & COWI

This part of the project integrates the knowledge generated in the first and second part and synthetizes the results using simple conceptual, statistical and ecological models, which will bridge the gap between field and experimental results, and their application in management.

Research activities include:

  • Development of statistical and/ or individual-based models describing the effects of contaminants on the abundance, feeding and production of aquatic organisms as a function of contaminant concentrations and temperature.
  • Development of a conceptual model describing the sources and effects (in terms of bioaccumulation and pelagic production) of different contaminants in the coastal water of Ghana.
  • Preliminary development of a mechanistic model to predict the effects of contaminant releases under present and future temperatures in the coastal waters of Ghana.
  • Identification of the knowledge gaps in both conceptual understanding and parameterization of the models.

Research-based marine management

Responsible partner: University of Cape Coast
Additional participants: ZEAL Environmental Technologies, LITEHAUZ, COWI & DTU Aqua

This part of the project forms an interface between the research results and policy development, which will be further developed in Phase 2 of the project.

Research activities include:

  • Review of the current management actions (including port reception facilities) in connection to the new knowledge obtained in other parts of the project. 
  • Selection of the new results / knowledge which are relevant for policy development, and identification of gaps to be filled in Phase 2. 
  • Development of recommendations on how the projects results can be used in management. 
  • Development of a sampling program to be tested in Phase 2.

Socio-economic impact of coastal degradation on fishing communities 

Responsible partners: Copenhagen Business School, Loughborough University & University of Cape Coast

This workpackage explores the impact of coastal degradation on the livelihoods and migration decisions of residents of the fishing communities of Anomabo and Elmina.

Research activities include:

  • Conducting in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with fishermen and fishmongers to discover how their livelihoods have changed and the extent to which they engage in alternative livelihood activities and migration.
  • Tracking individual residents of fishing communities over several years, using follow-up interviews, written and audio/visual diaries, to gain insight into their livelihood trajectories.
  • Interviewing key informants within the fishing communities, governmental and non-governmental organisations, to better understand the decision-making processes that influence small-scale fishing.
  • Observation and informal discussions throughout periods spent in the field to better understand the challenges small-scale fishing communities are facing.
  • Co-development of strategies to improve the livelihoods and work chances of all residents of coastal fishing communities.
21 APRIL 2024