Ghana: NADMO in 24-hour surveillance at Akuse over ‘outbreak of Tilapia Lake virus’

The move is to ensure that no one smuggles any dead tilapia to be sold to the general publicFollowing the destruction of some 40 tons of unwholesome tilapia at Asutsuare in the Greater Accra Region, the National Disaster and Management Organization (NADMO) has mounted a barrier at Akuse in the Eastern region as a means of providing 24-hour surveillance to check what it said is an outbreak of tilapia lake virus.

According to NADMO, the move is to ensure that “no person smuggles any dead tilapia to be sold to the general public.”

Last Friday, some tons of unwholesome tilapia were destroyed by the Fisheries Commission at Asutsuare in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region.

Some fishmongers were later found to be carting the dead fish to be used as slated fish, locally known as ‘koobi’ for sale to the unsuspecting public.

But in a statement, NADMO said it has intensified its observation mechanisms in the affected and surrounding communities to ensure that the situation is brought under control.

“Based on rapid assessment report submitted by our team in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipalty which supervised the burial process closer to the Fujien Farms at Asutuare in the Greater Accra Region, Eastern Regional Secretariat of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in collaboration with Ghana Police Service have mounted a barrier at Akuse in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality which shares boundary with Asutsuare to provide 24 hours surveillance.”

“We have detailed our Zonal Directors and Disaster Volunteers Groups (DVGs) to intensify surveillance along adjoining communities that share boundaries with Eastern Region”, the statement added.

Report persons you see with dead tilapia

Meanwhile, NADMO is encouraging persons who sight any unscrupulous persons with the dead tilapia to report for the appropriate actions to be taken.

“We are therefore advising the general public to be on the alert and report anyone seen with such dead tilapia.”

Tons of unwholesome Chinese tilapia destroyed at Asutsuare

The 40 tons of fish which were on Fujian Farm, a Chinese-owned fish farming company at Asutsuare, were allegedly imported into the country from China.

Managers of the farm have denied these claims saying the tilapia were bred locally. They thus suspect fish poisoning.

President of the Ghana Aquaculture Association, Jennifer Sodji, in a Citi News said Ghanaians should not panic over the matter.

…We realized that the fishes were dying and then we alerted the fisheries commission. EPA also moved in there to investigate the fish at the farm. The general public is not supposed to be worried about it because as we speak part of that farm has been closed down,” she added.

Fisher-folk found carting dead tilapia from Asutsuare for ‘koobi’

Some locals believed to be fishmongers from Volivo, Alabonya and Aveloenye near Asutsuare in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, are reportedly carting dead tilapia for processing as dry salted fish locally known as ‘koobi’.

Citi News‘ Kojo Agyeman reported that whereas officials of the company have dug a big pit where the dead tilapia are being buried, “local folks at Aveloenye are carting the dead and rotten tilapia across the Volta Lake.”

“When they saw our team coming they just sped off in their boats and crossed to the other side of the Volta Lake. They were spotted with more than six bags of the dead fish,” he added.

Asutsuare unwholesome tilapia situation under control – Fisheries Ministry

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has assured the public that it is safe to buy tilapia from the market.

Chief Director of the Ministry, Prof. Francis Nunoo, said enough measures have already been put in place to ensure that the Ministry is aware of the circumstances that led to the situation.