The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) has in an interview with Rite news condemned the bagging of some dead tilapia suspected to have died by poisoning, ostensibly for consumption or sale to the public…
The Bureau also condemned the bagging of some dead tilapia suspected to have died by poisoning, ostensibly for consumption or sale to the public.
Some 18 tonnes of tilapia were destroyed at Asutuare in the Greater Accra Region.
They are suspected to be genetically modified and could not survive the Ghanaian environment.
The fish were brought into the country by some Chinese nationals.
The part of the Chinese fish farm where the fish could not survive has been closed down.
However, in a statement, Executive Director of the BPS, Nana Yaw Akwada, said: “Emerging footages and pictures of people bagging these dead fish ostensibly for consumption or onward sale on the open market, is most disturbing, to say the least”.
The Bureau of Public Safety said it “cannot repose any confidence in official assurances given, insofar as actions observed from officialdom are completely unsatisfactory”.
The bureau is, therefore, entreating “the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development; the Food and Drugs Authority; Environmental Protection Agency; and the security agencies to take immediate steps to secure burial sites of the dead fish and to make all efforts to retrieve those collected by people either for consumption or onward sale to the unsuspecting public”.
BPS further demanded that all relevant facts surrounding the matter, regarding the cause of death and measures taken to prevent recurrence, be made public as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Director of Communication for the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), George Ayisi, has said personnel from the office of National Security, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) are collaborating to investigate the circumstances that led to the suspected poisoning of the fish.
Ban on tilapia imports
In July this year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) placed a ban on the importation of all ornamental fishes and tilapia species (live and dead), including gametes (eggs) and milt, into the country from July 1 to December 31, 2018.
A statement issued by MoFAD to announce the ban said the Tilapia Lake virus was a newly emerging virus associated with significant mortalities in farmed tilapia.
“The attention of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) has been drawn to the fact that, cases have been reported across Africa, Asia and South America that the virus represents a huge risk to the global tilapia industry.
“This means all countries should be vigilant and act quickly to investigate cases of mortalities in farms,” the statement said.
That ban is still in place.