As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, demand for catfish has drastically reduced and put investors in catfish farming into financial distress.
This came up when the Eastern Regional Office of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture led by Mr. Francis Banks, the Regional Director of the Fisheries Commission, visited Blackman’s Farms and Hatchery at Adoagyiri in the Eastern Region.
The visit was part of a programme by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to find out the impact of the coronavirus on the inland catfish farming industry.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the farm, Mr. Samuel Koffie, said many Nigerian citizens in Ghana who were the biggest clients of the farm, had stopped visiting the farm because of the coronavirus.
He said currently, the farm had a large stock of outgrown catfish ready for sale but because of COVID-19, people were not coming out to buy.
Mr. Koffie said hotels and eateries, which used to buy from the farm have stopped their orders. He said before the outbreak of COVID-19, many orders had been placed for thousands of fingerlings for new and old fish farms, but with the outbreak of the virus, all those orders had been canceled.
Mr. Koffie said in the wake of this pandemic, the farm had been able to maintain all 15 employees, with restrictions on their salaries and allowances because the business was in distress.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Farm, Mr. Nicholas Dogbe, called for the removal of the many demands required before the establishment of fish farms to make the job attractive. He said the farm currently had 16 ponds and was operating a mini- zoo that people could visit.