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Ghana’s declining marine fish stocks have severe effects on livelihoods and the food and nutritional security of coastal fishing communities. The West African Mangrove Oyster (Crassostrea tulipa) is a popular and a cheaper source of protein among the inhabitants of most coastal communities of Ghana. It is mostly collected from the wild for consumption. However, intense commercial exploitations have been reported in recent times in some coastal communities in Ghana.  Aside serving as a cheaper source of protein, the species provide a variety of ecological services. It is also deemed to have a considerable economic potential, and large number of coastal water bodies are reported to be suitable for oyster’s cultivation in Ghana. Increasing the production of C. tulipa in Ghana through mariculture would therefore meet several needs. A number of preliminary studies have been conducted to identify viable culture techniques that will increase the yield of mangrove oysters as a means of supplementary livelihood for coastal communities in Ghana. Nevertheless, information on the feeding biology of the species in Ghana is non-existing. Such Information is critical in evaluating energy sources for biological functions such as reproduction, growth, and the provision of ecological functions. Understanding the factors that influence these energy sources production and abundance is also essential to better manage the wild population and to plan and develop oyster mariculture. Earlier studies have also shown that C. tulipa is amenable to laboratory/hatchery production. However, there is still a paucity of scientific information on the laboratory/hatchery rearing of C. tulipa, particularly on the feeding of the larvae.  This study therefore aims to provide scientific information on the trophic ecology of C. tulipa in some coastal lagoons of Ghana, and assess the performance of the oyster larvae on the local microalgae isolates in the laboratory. The objectives of this study are to:

  1. To study aspects of the feeding biology of C. tulipa populations in Benya and Nakwa Lagoon.
  2. To isolate and culture some local microalgae strains to serve as a food source for the oyster larval rearing in the laboratory.
  3. Assess the performance C. tulipa larvae on local microalgae isolates.

 The significance of this study is deeply rooted in the values of sustainable aquaculture development and socio-economic empowerment of coastal communities in Ghana. The study also has the potential to enhance the nutrition of coastal inhabitants in Ghana and  sustainable exploitation of West African Mangrove Oyster in the sub-region.