Viral photograph of some locals believed to be fishmongers from Volivo, Alabonya reportedly carting dead tilapia for processing as dry salted fish

The Fisheries Commission has started investigations into the cause of death of tilapia stock, a delicacy to many Ghanaians, at the Fujian Farm at Asutsuare in the Eastern Region.

The Fujian Farm, a Chinese company, was reported to have recorded mass deaths of its tilapia stock, which has been circulating on social media since Thursday, October 18.

The Fisheries Commission, on Friday, confirmed the report of the dead tilapia to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), but said intense investigations were underway.

The Head of Fish Health at the Fisheries Commission, Dr Peter Azedah, told the GNA in a telephone interview that the Fujian Farm had been closed down while samples of the fish had been sent for laboratory test both at home and abroad.

He said the Commission had also ensured and supervised the burial of all the dead fish and so there was no cause for alarm.

He said the Commission got wind of the dead tilapia Sunday evening and that on Monday, October 15, officials went to the scene to ascertain the veracity of the news, which was confirmed on arrival that over 20 tonnes of fish had died.

Dr Azedah said from the initial observation it could be deduced that the death was as a result of “environmental process or something being wrong with the water they were living in.”

However, he urged the general public to be patient and wait for the lab result being expected from Britain, Norway and France as well as from the local laboratory centre in Ghana.

Since the initial observation did not connect the cause of death to any disease, there was no possibility that other neighbouring farms could be affected.

However, Dr Azeda advised other farms to improve the bio-security of their farms to protect their fish stock.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is also assessing the situation, particularly concerning the fear of the public as to whether some of the tilapia might have been sent to the markets for public consumption.

An official from the FDA expressed the belief that none of the dead tilapia had found its way to the open market because all the women seen in videos circulating have been arrested and the tilapia seized and destroyed.

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