1. Introduction

The Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem extends from the intense upwelling area of the Guinea Current in the north to the northern seasonal limit of the Benguela Current in the south. While the northern border of the Guinea Current is distinct, but with seasonal fluctuations, its southern boundary is less well-defined, and is formed by the South Equatorial Current (Binet & Marchal 1993).

This LME covers an area of about 2 million km2, of which 0.33% is protected, and includes 0.15% of the world's sea mounts and 0.20% of the world's coral reefs (Sea Around Us 2007).

Twelve major estuaries and river systems (including the Cameroon, Lagos Lagoon, Volta, Niger-Benoue, Sanaga, Ogooue, and Congo rivers) form an extensive network of catchment basins that enter this LME, which has the largest continental shelf in West Africa. It should be noted that the West Africa's shelf is relatively narrow compared with many other shelves of the World Ocean.

Sixteen countries border the LME - Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Principé, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Map of the region

The Guinea Current region extends from Sierra Leone to Congo. The five participating countries are indicated in yellow on the map.