Population dynamics of the Brown mussel Perna perna at a Rocky beach near Cape Coast, Ghana
The brown mussel, Perna perna, is an ecologically important species which has a great potential for aquaculture in Ghana. Though it is harvested from the wild for consumption locally, there is no information on its population parameters to guide its management and subsequent culturing. The species inhabiting Iture rocky beach near Cape Coast (Ghana) was therefore investigated to elucidate its growth and other population parameters. Specimens had shell length ranging from 5.00 to 78.0 mm, a modal shell length class of 35.0–39.9 mm, and exhibited negative allometric growth. The asymptotic length (L∞), growth coefficient (K), and growth performance index (Φ') were 80.10 mm, 0.49 per year, and 3.49, respectively. The recruitment pattern showed that P. perna has year‐round recruitment with a single peak between April and July. Total mortality (Z) was estimated at 2.79 per year, while natural mortality (M) and fishing mortality (F) were 0.87 and 1.92 per year, respectively. The calculated exploitation level of the population (E = 0.69) suggests possible overfishing of the mussels at Iture rocky beach. These results could serve as baseline information for management of the mussel population in Ghana.
exploitation, mortality, Perna perna, recruitment, von Bertalanffy growth function