Enforce fisheries laws to protect life - Sherry Ayittey
Stakeholders in the fishing industry have reiterated calls for the enforcement of the fisheries laws to protect life.
According to them, the rate at which poisonous fish was being sold on the market was alarming for which reason law enforcers should be proactive.
The Chief Fisherman at Biriwa in the Central Region, Nana Kobina Ebow Dadzie, made the call in an interview during a fact-finding tour by a group of researchers to some fishing communities in the Western and Central regions.
Nana Dadzie entreated the government to reinstitute the task force which regularly inspected fish sold on the market, particularly in the Central Region.
“This time around, the task force should be stationed at every fishing community to monitor and search every canoe before and after fishing,” he suggested.
The chief also called for the involvement of the Navy and Marine Police to ensure that the ban on light fishing was adhered to.
The ‘’Fish Queenmother’’ of Agona Nkwanta in the Western Region also stated that, until such measures were strictly enforced in the country, consumers would continue to be exposed to unwholesome fish on the market.
The Senior Nutritionist at the Western Regional Public Health Directorate, Baba Anangi, warned of the damaging effects of consuming unwholesome fish.
According to him, it was wrong for people to assume that once a chemically laced fish was smoked, the effect of the chemical was curtailed.
“We eat fish to get protein, not cancers. These chemicals in fishes damage the internal organs, particularly the liver and the kidneys alongside other allergies. They do not kill instantly but they pile up diseases,” he said.
A Medical Doctor at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, Dr Esi Gaisie, added that, “If chemicals such as DDT, Carbide and Dynamite are all used to kill fish for us to eat, then it defeats the importance of fish as a significant part of healthy foods. The accumulation of the chemicals and the contamination is very problematic.”
Ghanaians consume some one million metric tons (MT) of fish annually. Out of the number, 400,000 MT are supplied locally, while the 600,000 MT are imported.