The Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences of the University of Ghana has disclosed that the washing ashore of fish was as a result of stress.
The Department, in a statement issued on Sunday, 11 April 2021, noted that the result of the research was based on preliminary scientific assessment of the situation.
The latest research findings support claims by the Fisheries Minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson that the fishes which were washed ashore in the coastal areas of Ghana were stressed.
According to her, she gathered the information from Dr Peter Zidda, a fish health specialist of the Fisheries Commission when she interacted with veterinary doctors of the Fish Health Unit of the Commission to be updated on the progress of the investigation so far.
The Minister’s comment received mixed reactions, with a section of Ghanaians mocking her for the statement.
But the Department stated: “Results from water quality analyses showed that most parameters required for life in the ocean were within acceptable limits, with the exception of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), which was significantly higher than expected”.
The statement further said: “This oxygen demand would most likely create a condition of stress on living organisms that depend on dissolved oxygen in the water body. It is interesting to note that a few days to the fish kills, there was a sudden drop in sea surface temperature as observed from satellite imageries over the coast from Cote d’Ivoire to Togo.
“This is most likely an indication of upwelled water from the bottom of the ocean, probably carrying low oxygen concentration. At this stage, we do not have any data on what triggered these incidents. It requires that an ocean monitoring programme is established as a matter of urgency”.
Some fish species were washed ashore the Osu Castle in the Greater Accra region and Axim-Bewire beach in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region.
They were discovered on Sunday, 4 April 2021.