The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) are taking emergency steps to clamp down on nefarious traders attempting to sneak in potentially poisonous dead fish that washed ashore from the sea into the fish markets in both the Accra and Tema metropolis.
The cause of the mass extermination of these fishes, including dolphins, is unknown, but there are reports that the situation may not be unconnected to the insidious Chinese commercial fishing mafia that has virtually monopolized Ghana’s territorial ocean.
There are reports that some poisonous substance may have been released into the sea by this Mafia.
Consequently, FDA on Monday, April 5, 2021, issued a statement warning consumers not to buy any suspiciously cheap fish on the market.
“To prevent the washed-ashore fish from entering into the food chain, FDA inspection teams have been dispatched to fish markets…the Authority has intensified its public education and sensitization on quality parameters and signs of contamination of fish in the fishing communities and fish markets,” the FDA said in its statement.
“…The general public is cautioned to be guided by the freshness of the eyes and redness of the gills of fish that they seek to purchase. The washed-ashore fish typically shows signs of popped out and unclear eyes, dull coloration of gills, bloating around the abdominal areas and/or oozing of foul scented fluids.”
On the other hand, the TMA’s Public Relations Department has therefore alerted the fishing community in the metropolis to stay away from the fish carcasses on the beaches as health officials take samples for laboratory investigations.
Public Relations Officer, Frank Asante, is reported as saying that the Assembly has also undertaken some security deployments in one of the country’s major fishing communities.
“…the Mayor has deployed NADMO officials to take up the additional responsibility of ensuring that nobody smuggles the suspected “unwholesome” fish onto the market in Tema for sale,” Mr. Asante is quoted as saying.
A few days ago, large shoals of dead fishes along with dolphins have suddenly been washing ashore around Ghana’s beaches. It is feared that the fish-kill may have been caused by some chemical pollution upstream that may have consequences for general aquatic life in Ghana’s seas.
Already, local fishermen have been explaining that the incident is haunting because the current fish season is the lean one.
There are also concerns that the authorities are taking too long to ascertain the cause of the mass fish kill.