FDA, EPA investigate tilapia deaths; embargo on two Chinese Companies
Different teams of experts have been deployed to tilapia farms in the Asutuare area to investigate the cause of death of shoals of fish which has created panic within communities along the Volta Lake in the Lower Manya Krobo district of the Eastern Region.
The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, the Food and Drugs Authority have already taken samples of dead fish and water from some of the ponds for analysis.
Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development which is equally carrying out its independent tests of water samples and some of the dead fish has placed embargo on two Chinese companies operating in the area.
Chief Director of the Ministry, Prof. F. K. E. Nunoo says officers deployed have been tasked among other things to ensure that no contaminated tilapia goes out to the market for consumption.
News about the dead fishes at Fujian Farms, a Chinese-owned company, Farms has created panic among retailers.
Some of the farmers who spoke to XYZ News claim, they first noticed signs of dead fishes about 10 days ago, but the situation kept worsening raises concerns about possible contamination of the ponds or the influx of a yet to be identified disease.
One of those badly affected is Joyce Bobobi, a fish farmer at Asutuare , who says he has already lost over 3000 pieces.
“We suspected something is going wrong. We started picking dead fish in small quantities but became alarmed when shoals of tilapia were discovered floating in the ponds. We have lost much of our capital and we fear those who buy from us may never come again. This incident must be investigated.”…..she lamented.
There is strong suspicion that the strain which could not survive is genetically modified.
The news is creating panic among consumers but the President of the Ghana Aquaculture Association, Jennifer Sodji is calling for calm.
The Food and Drugs Authority and the Agric Ministry also say its too early to draw conclusions and the public must exercise patience while the teams on the ground finalize their conclusions on ongoing investigations.
Public Relations Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority, James Lartey says the FDA expect early results to inform its next line of action.
About eighteen (18) tons of the unwholesome tilapia said to have died from the Fujian Farm in the Volta Lake area has since been buried.