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Fisheries Ministry coordinating inter-agency probe into washing ashore of fish

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development is coordinating an inter-agency investigation into the reported incidents of dead fish of various species washed ashore in Accra and Axim over the weekend.

The agencies probing the incident comprise the 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 affected areas.

Police have been alerted to arrest any persons found distributing fish from these incidents into the Ghanaian food chain.

The ministry in a statement urged the public “to inspect the freshness of the eyes and gills of fish they seek to buy, which should generally be 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 statement noted.

The fish were found along the shores of the Osu Castle beach in Accra and ashore at the Axim-Bewire beach in the Nzema East Municipality on Sunday.

The Ministry reiterated the advice of the Food and Drugs Authority “to the general public to desist from consuming the fish, in view of the potential risk to health and safety.”

The authority dispatched an inspection team to monitor the Osu Mandela market in the Korle-Klottey municipality, for example.

The authority’s regional offices along the coastline in the Central and Volta regions have also been alerted and are replicating similar efforts in towns along the coast.

Find below the full statement
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 the 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 potentially 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 generally be 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

Thank you

HON MAVIS HAWA KOOMSON (MP)

MINISTER

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