Canary Current | WWF

Canary Current

About the Area

Driven by prevailing winds, the Canary Current flows southwestward along the coast of West Africa, bringing cool water towards the equator. As the wind moves the surface water, nutrient rich water from below the surface moves upward. This upwelling creates a highly productive region, especially for deep-sea fish and lobsters.
The Banc d'Arguin and Bijagos Archipelago are highly productive, shallow water ecosystems that support millions of Palearctic migratory birds during their journey. The Bijagos also support an unusual population of marine hippopotamuses (Hippopotamus amphibius).

Local Species
Selected species include the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Olive Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), West African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), sardine (Sardinops ocellata), pilchard (Sardina pilchardus), Spanish sardine (Sardinella aurita), horse mackerel (Tracharus sp.), hake (Merluccius spp.), and the breeding humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

Problems include overfishing, urban development, runoff as a product of soil erosion, release of agrochemical products, sewage discharge, and oil pollution.


Habitat type:
Tropical Upwelling

Geographic Location:
Eastern Atlantic Ocean off the northwestern coast of Africa

Conservation Status:

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