The Basin Focal Project for the Volta (BFP-Volta) is a research project funded by the Challenge Programme on Water and Food (CPWF). Its aim is to provide an in-depth analysis of the basin through three main thematic issues: water-poverty, water availability/use and water productivity. The overall objective of the BFP-Volta is to contribute to the main goal of the CPWF, that is, to alleviate poverty through better management of water in order to enhance agricultural productivity and environment conservation. In this context, the WorldFish Center has been commissioned to produce a series of two complementary reports focusing more specifically on the fisheries resources and the link that may exist between poverty and fisheries in the Volta basin. The present report is the first of these two documents. It should be seen as a preliminary analysis presenting a background of the fisheries resources in the Volta Basin essentially from a biological perspective. Its specific objective is to conduct a diagnostic analysis of the status of the Volta basin’s inland fisheries, with a particular focus on the biological productivity of the various water bodies existing in the basin. Whenever possible, the diagnostic will be proposed in relation to the current exploitation rate of the fisheries resources. The analysis will include the Volta Lake, but also the other hydropower reservoirs, rivers, floodplains, and the numerous small-scale seasonal or permanent ponds that are scattered throughout the basin. Particular attention will be paid, however, to Lake Volta, reflecting the large number of fishery-dependent communities that live on its shores. The report will also concentrate on two countries within the basin: Ghana and Burkina Faso as together they cover more than 83% of the total basin surface.