Aquaculture International

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1387–1400 | Cite as

Effects of seasonal and environmental changes on aquaculture production in tropical Lake Volta, Ghana

  • Emmanuel T. D. MensahEmail author
  • Hederick R. Dankwa
  • Lauridsen L. Torben
  • Ruby Asmah
  • Benjamin B. Campion
  • Regina Edziyie


Globally, aquaculture production is faced with numerous challenges, notable among which is water quality. The study determined seasonal environmental changes in Lake Volta and its implications on cage production of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus in experimental and commercial farm (Sun Woo Farm) set-ups. For each set-up, three cages were used, each measuring 81 and 162.5 m3 for experimental and commercial, respectively. The cages were stocked with 22.5 g fingerlings at a rate of 40 and 80 m−3 in experimental and commercial cages, respectively, and fed commercial diet. The growth performance, yield, economics, and selected water quality parameters were monitored during the dry and wet seasons between November 2014 and July 2015. There were no differences in water quality parameters between dry and wet seasons (p > 0.05). Water quality for both seasons remained within limits required for good Tilapia growth in both set-ups. There were minimal variations in growth characteristics between seasons which were not significant; however, final mean weight and yields were high in the dry seasons in both set-ups. The cost of feed and fingerling accounting for about 80% of total costs were the major components identified to affect cost of production. A higher profit index and returns on investment were observed in the dry season in both set-ups and was linked to higher survival rates in the season. Production of Nile tilapia in cages can be cultured throughout the year without any adverse effects as exhibited in similar production patterns in both experimental and commercial set-ups.


Lake Volta Nile tilapia Production Profit index Water quality Wet and dry seasons 



American Public Health Association


Body weight


Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Water Research Institute


Crude protein


Dissolved oxygen


Feeding rate


Food and Agriculture Organization


Gross Domestic Product


Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development



The authors thank Sun Woo Farms for providing on-farm data needed from a commercial farm. Special thanks goes to the following technical staff: Mr. Edem Amedorme, Mrs. Patience Atsakpo, Mr. Godfred Yeboah, Mr. Serapis Appiah, and Mr. Bright Awunor of the CSIR-Water Research Institute, Accra, and the Aquaculture Research and Development Centre, Akosombo, for assisting in fish data collection and laboratory analyses of water samples.

Funding information

The author express their sincerest gratitude to the Danish Foreign Ministry and the DANIDA Fellowship Centre for funding this research work through the project “Climate changes effects on Volta Lake Resources.”

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no relation with data or software enterprises which might lead to conflict of interests with the companies. In addition, all authors are trained researchers with the information herein meant merely for scientific rationale and therefore they account their output based on research and information dissemination. All information obtained from different sources have been duly referenced and acknowledged.

Ethical statement

The authors warrant that the manuscript submitted is their own original work and that all authors participated in the work in a substantive way and are prepared to take public responsibility for the work. All authors have also seen and approved the manuscript as submitted. The manuscript has not been published elsewhere and that the text, illustrations, and any other materials included in the manuscript do not infringe upon any existing copyright or other rights of anyone.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Water Research InstituteAccraGhana
  2. 2.Department of Fisheries and Watershed ManagementKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  3. 3.Institute for BioscienceAarhus UniversitySilkeborgDenmark

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