The Fisheries Commission’s preliminary investigations into the dead fish washed ashore on parts of Ghana’s coast indicate that stress factors caused the deaths.
Speaking to Citi News, the Head of Fish Health Unit at the Fisheries Commission, Dr. Peter Zedah said further tests are being conducted for further clarity.
“Our initial investigations have proven that the fishes died as a result of some stress factors. For the [exact] stress factors, we are still investigating,” he said.
“Whether they were poisonous or not, we cannot tell because the other people are doing some pesticide testing.”
Mr. Zedah added that his outfit was sending the gills and the kidneys of the dead fish for histopathological analysis.
“When that one [the histopathological analysis] comes, we can say it is confirmatory but for now, the fishes were stressed, and they came [out].”
The assessment showed that the fishes washed ashore “looked good, so it gives you the impression that maybe some environmental factors may have caused their death.”
Some stress factors for aquatic life are affected by pollution, diet, water quality, population density. water temperature, among others.
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 of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development is coordinating an inter-agency investigation into the reported incidents.
The agencies probing the incident comprise the Fisheries Commission, the 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.
Though the state has tried to discourage the sale and consumption of the dead fish and started the monitoring of markets, some fishmongers have been seen processing the fish in Axim.
Though police have been alerted to arrest any persons found distributing the dead fish from these incidents into the Ghanaian food chain, no arrests have been reported.