The National Disaster Management Organization, NADMO says barriers have been mounted at Akuse in the Eastern region as a means of providing 24-hour surveillance to check what it said is an outbreak of tilapia lake virus from being smuggled into the region.
The move according to NADMO, is to ensure that “no person smuggles any dead tilapia to be sold to the general public.”
“The National Disaster Management Organization, NADMO Based on rapid assessment of report submitted by our team in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality, which supervised the burial process closer to the Fujien Farms At Asutuare in the Greater Accra Region, the Eastern Regional Secretariat of the NADMO in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service have mounted a barrier at Akuse in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality which shares boundary with Asutuare to provide 24 hours surveillance,” the Organization’s Acting Eastern Regional Director, Kwame Appiah Kodua has said in a press release.
The Eastern Regional Director in an interview with Rite news on Monday asserted that the mounting of the barriers was necessitated following a visit of NADMO officials to the affected farms to access the situation.
The step, he added necessary to safeguard the people of the Eastern region against the smuggling of the affected tilapia.
“Though Asutuare is in the Greater Accra Region, this issue goes beyond Asutuare especially as the eastern region shares boundaries with the town and so once it affects Asutsuare, Lower Manya and Asuogyaman which are both in the Eastern region are also affected,” Mr. Kodua cautioned.
The Ghana Aquaculture Association last week called for public calm after it emerged that at least 18,000 tonnes of tilapia died en masse at the fish farm and had to be destroyed.
Part of the fish farm, Fujian Farm — a Chinese owned company has since been shut down pending further investigations.
The Ghana Aquaculture Association in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency have jointly moved in to investigate the fish at the farm.
Last Friday, some tons of unwholesome tilapia were destroyed by the Fisheries Commission at the farms.
Some fishmongers were later found to be carting the dead fish to be used as salted fish, locally known as ‘koobi’ for sale to the unsuspecting public.
In the statement, NADMO also said it has intensified its observation mechanisms in the affected and surrounding communities to ensure that the situation is brought under control. “We have detailed our Zonal Directors and Disaster Volunteers Groups (DVGs) to intensify surveillance along adjoining communities that share boundaries with the Eastern Region”, the statement added.
Meanwhile, NADMO is encouraging persons who sight any unscrupulous persons with the dead tilapia to report for the appropriate actions to be taken.
“We are therefore advising the general public to be on the alert and report anyone seen with such dead tilapia.”
Some locals believed to be fishmongers from Volivo, Alabonya and Aveloenye near Asutsuare in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, were reportedly carting the dead tilapia for processing as dry salted fish locally known as ‘koobi’.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has assured the public that it is safe to buy tilapia from the market.
Tilapia is a popular Ghanaian delicacy. Banku and tilapia is a common dish on the long list of cherished Ghanaian cuisines.