The cetaceans of Guinea, a first check-list of documented species


Bamy, I.L., Van Waerebeek, K., Bah, S.S., Dia, M., Kaba, B., Keita, N., Konate, S. and Tall, H.



Secondary Title

Document presented to the Scientific Commitee of the International Whaling Commission






Sousa teuszii, Atlantic humpback dolphin, Guinea, Cetacean, distribution, Bycatch


A CMS workshop on West African Cetacea (Conakry, May 2000), called for i.a. ‘carrying out .. inventory of cetacean species; collection, treatment and compilation of data for each state.’ The present paper is a preliminary faunal checklist of cetaceans occurring in Guinea’s EEZ. Information was gleaned from strandings, bycatches, scientific and opportunistic sightings and a literature review. Ten species are included for which supporting voucher material and data were available for examination. These are, three baleen whales: Balaenoptera brydei, Balaenoptera acutorostrata and Megaptera novaeangliae; and seven species of odontocetes: Kogia breviceps, Tursiops truncatus, Sousa teuszii, Stenella frontalis, Delphinus delphis, Steno bredanensis and Globicephala macrorhynchus. Another two species, Physeter macrocephalus and Stenella attenuata were sighted off Guinea but no photographic evidence was obtained. The current account is thought to reflect an incomplete picture of Guinea’s cetacean biodiversity. Future surveys are expected to update and investigate spatial and temporal distribution patterns for each species along Guinea’s coast. A few bycatches landed by artisanal fishers were utilised locally, but there are no signs of any substantial captures. Nonetheless, monitoring should be continued. The set-up of a national reference collection and database is recommended. The population identities of the encountered Atlantic humpback dolphin, minke whale and humpback whale are of particular interest.