Ghana releases 38 Dolphins back into sea

Ghana releases 38 Dolphins back into sea

A team of experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Fisheries Commission has released 38 of the dolphins that were washed ashore at Axim-Bewire last Sunday back into the sea.

However, 25 of the marine mammals that were found dead in the communities have been buried.

Officials said an estimated 120 dolphins were washed ashore alive, but they were weak and unable to swim back to their habitat.

Some people picked 29 of the sea mammals to the communities but a search found all of them dead.

Consequently, 25 of the carcasses were buried, while four were taken to the University of Cape Coast for examination.

Back into sea

The rest of the dolphins, according to the team, could not be accounted for.

Besides, the heads, tails and pieces of dismembered parts of nine dolphins were picked along the shores of Axim-Bewire, with the suspicion being that the other parts had found their way into the communities.

Based on that, officials had to stay late into the night last Sunday, with the view to picking up any person who would, under the cover of darkness, go to process the mammals either for consumption or sale.

The acting Western Regional Director of Fisheries, Mr Arafat Alhassan, said for now, they had buried what they were able to retrieve from the community.

A team of experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Fisheries Commission has released 38 of the dolphins that were washed ashore at Axim-Bewire last Friday back into the sea.

However, 25 of the marine mammals that were found dead in the communities have been buried.

Officials said an estimated 120 dolphins were washed ashore alive, but they were weak and unable to swim back to their habitat.

Some people picked 29 of the sea mammals to the communities but a search found all of them dead.

Consequently, 25 of the carcasses were buried, while four were taken to the University of Cape Coast for examination.

Coastal communities

Apart from the dolphins, large numbers of other fish species were also washed up on beaches in Accra, necessitating investigations by the authorities.

Experts noticed that there were10 species of small dead pelagic and demersal fishes at Osu.

Officials of the FDA, the Marine Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the Fisheries Commission had appealed to coastal communities in the Nzema East area to volunteer information on the whereabouts of the remaining mammals.

Protected species

Mr Alhassan said the Fisheries Commission and other members of the team from sister agencies faced fierce resistance from community members in the team’s quest to take over the marine animals.

He said the police intercepted some of the dolphins loaded onto a truck.

“We found out that some were alive and we released them, but the people caught them back and tied them to canoes but they died the next day,” he said.

Mr Alhassan said dolphins in the country’s waters were one of the highly protected marine mammals and his outfit had, on many occasions, educated fishermen and coastal communities on the need to protect the mammals.

“We are surprised that they saw the animals and subjected them to such troubles. From time to time, there are accidental catches, but not to take custody of such volumes ashore, ”he stated.

The Western Regional Director of the EPA, Mr George K. Diawuoh, said the office was in touch with the security agencies to help in the retrieval of the rest of the mammals from the communities.

He urged members of the communities to ensure that they helped the institutions of state to ensure that the right things were done in the interest of the people.

Minister appeals

Meanwhile, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, has appealed to individuals who have consumed some of the fishes that were washed ashore to avail themselves to be placed under medical surveillance.

She said it was important for an examination to be conducted to establish the wholesomeness or otherwise of the fishes before the public consumed them.

The minister made the appeal at a stakeholders’ durbar at Osu Anorho in Accra Tuesday.

It was to enable the inter-sectoral committee tasked to investigate the phenomenon to interact with fisher folk and seek their opinion on the matter.

At the durbar, which was also attended by the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Mrs Koomson noted that even though occasionally some quantity of fishes had been washed ashore, the volume and magnitude of what happened over the weekend raised issues of concern.

She asked fisher folk at Osu in the Klotey Korle municipality in the Greater Accra Region to cooperate with the authorities in ongoing investigations to ascertain the reasons behind the death of the fishes.

I’ve eaten fish

A woman, Madam Abigail Nortey, said at the durbar that she had already eaten some of the fishes and did not believe it was unwholesome.

However, she said due to the call by the minister, she was going to hold on with consumption of what was left in her custody until the report was made public.

Examination

Mrs Koomson told the gathering at Osu that samples of the fishes had been taken to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to be examined and the findings would be made public soon.

“It is important that we remain one another’s keeper and ensure that our health is of paramount concern to all,” she said.

For her part, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs Mimi Delese Darko, said her outfit had commenced investigations into the circumstances that led to that large number of fishes been washed ashore dead.

She said the state in which the fishes were found at the beaches made them unwholesome for consumption, adding: “Even if our investigations prove that they died through natural causes, it is important for us to note that how they were found at the beaches will not make them right for consumption.”

Apart from the dolphins, large numbers of other fish species were also washed up on beaches in Accra, necessitating investigations by the authorities.

Experts noticed that there were10 species of small dead pelagic and demersal fishes at Osu.

Officials of the FDA, the Marine Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the Fisheries Commission had appealed to coastal communities in the Nzema East area to volunteer information on the whereabouts of the remaining mammals.

Source: graphic.com.gh

Asare Solomon Aristocrat
Asare Solomon Aristocrat

I’m Solomon, the CEO of Voix Of Ghana Media ( VOG MEDIA, and Aristocrat Charity Foundation ( ACF). Aside blogging, I am also a Forester, Philanthropist, a Publicist, and a Promoter.

Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LIFESTYLE