An open aquarium in Busua Ghana

An open aquarium in Busua Ghana

At exactly 5:00am on a rather cold August morning, the sun raring to see off the darkness with a harsh kiss, Amos, my guide and information officer of the community, knocked hurriedly on my door and summoned me to the beach nearby. “Come have a look at something” he called out. I was startled as flashes of what might be wrong flooded my mind. My first thought was that there might be an emergency with one of the over 30 visitors that have made the trip with me. Still in sleep-mode, I walked gingerly to the beach which was just about two minutes away and was awed by what I saw. About two kilometres into the vast Atlantic Ocean from the shores of Busua, were huge mammals leaping out of the water and seemingly synchronising their movements.

“I told you we have dolphins and whales here. They are often seen around August and September when the weather is cold,” Amos said. Welcome to the shores of Busua, a coastal town in the Western Region considered one of the safest beaches in Ghana. Predominately a fishing community, the species of fish that are brought on-shore from various fishing expeditions every morning is unlike any other coastal area in the country. Dolphins, Reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, Great white sharks are a regular feature when the many wooden canoes powered by outboard motors return to the shores of Busua after spending days at sea. Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals and are part of the family of toothed whales that includes orcas and pilot whales. They are found worldwide, mostly in shallow seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating fish and squid. Dolphin coloration varies, but they are generally gray in color with darker backs than the rest of their bodies.

Hammerhead Sharks, another unique type of shark found in the water of Busua, has a long head that looks like the ends of a hammer on both sides of it. Many people are afraid of it due to the way that it looks. Yet it is very unlikely that they will attack a person. Nine hammerhead species are generally recognized but only three types can be dangerous to humans. Hammerhead Sharks have a very developed sense of smell though and they will go on the hunt for prey in the ocean very aggressively.

Probably the best known species of shark is the great white. This is believed to be the most dangerous type of shark in the world. People have been able to see them as they are among the rare species that do raise their heads out of the water. Great white sharks have also been fished out of water by the brave fishermen that have   been working the waters of Busua for decades. Unlike the hammerhead shark, the fins of dolphins and white sharks are in high demand. The fins of the said mammals are indeed more expensive than the other parts. Fish mongers, mostly women, fiercely compete to buy these unique creatures after the fins have been harvested by fishermen.

The flesh of sharks, dolphins are cut into small pieces and smoked for sale at the largest local market at Agona located some 10minutes from the shores. Deprived of the spectacle of an aquarium, housed in a sound structure ,with myriad of beautiful fishes each exhibiting its peculiar traits, the general Ghanaian public and especially school-going children only learn about creatures in the sea from their text books and on television. There is also no theme park with a well-built pool with good seating arrangement for spectators to actually encounter one of the most intelligent and friendly mammals–dolphins. In the absence of these, the fast-rising community in the Western Region, Busua, located between Butre and Dixcove can best be described as an open aquarium worth visiting. There are flights available from Accra to the Western Regional capital Takoradi. Africa World Airlines (AWA) and Starbow both operate flights between the two cities and affordable prices. Flight time is just under 45minutes. When in Takoradi, you can either board a comfortable public transport to Agona Junction and then join a taxi to Busua township or hire a cab from Takoradi to Busua Township. The journey from Takoradi to Busua is under 30minutes.

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By 9jatravel / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

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on Nov 14, 2015

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