The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture says it has put the Ghana Police Service is notice to arrest persons who may be distributing unwholesome fishes and Dolphins washed ashore. It follows reports that some persons collected the dead fishes for consumption, heightening fears the unwholesome fishes will be sold to unsuspecting consumers.
Various species of fish and dolphins were washed ashore between the Friday April 2, and Sunday April 4, 2021 along the coasts of Axim-Bewire in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region, Osu in the Greater Accra Region and Keta in the Volta Region. The incident which has raised serious concerns among the populace and some experts is currently being investigated by various agencies including the Food and Drugs Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, the Fisheries Commission among others.
A statement issued by the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Mavis Hawa Koomson, announced that her ministry was coordinating the interagency investigations adding that the public will be in due course be updated on the outcome of the investigations.
Below is the full statement issued by the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
INTER-AGENCY INVESTIGATION INTO FISH MORTALITY IN ACCRA AND AXIM
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development is Coordinating an inter-agency investigation into the reported incidents of dead fishes of various species, washed ashore beaches in Accra and Axim over the Easter weekend.
The agencies include Fisheries commission, Food and Drugs Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ghana Maritime Authority, the Ghana Navy, the Marine Police and the respective Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies in the respected areas affected.
The investigations will determine the causes of the incidents and possible preventive measures for the future.
The above agencies are also collaborating to prevent an entry of fish from this incident into the markets and food chain.
The Ministry assures the general public that it will take all necessary steps to protect the fisheries industry from the potential harmful effects of this incident. Further, the Ministry reiterates the advice of FDA to the general public to desist from consuming the fish, in view of the potential risk to health and safety.
The public is also being entreated to inspect the freshness of the eyes and gills of fish they seek to buy, which should generallybe reddish in colour. The washed-ashore fish typically shows signs of popped out and unclear eyes, dull colouration of gills, bloating around the abdominal areas and possible oozing of foul scented fluids.
The Ghana Police Service and City security officials have been alerted to arrest any persons found distributing fish from these incidents into the Ghanaian food chain.
The Public will be updated of the outcome of this investigation
HON MAVIS HAWA KOOMSON (MP)