The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Madam Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, has stated emphatically that tilapia fish is safe for consumption.
A few days ago, news broke that large quantities of poisoned tilapia had hit town after some unscrupulous persons carted the unwholesome fish for sale to unsuspecting consumers – which caused fear and panic among the general public.
However, Madam Afoley Quaye has assured the general public that her ministry has initiated investigations into what caused the death of tonnes of tilapia.
She added that officials from the ministry have been deployed across the country for investigations and inspections, and the results have been positive so far.
The officers are also responsible for containing the situation and also ensuring that no contaminated tilapia goes out to the market for consumption.
About eighteen tonnes of the unwholesome tilapia that died from the Fujian Farm – a Chinese farm in the Asutsuare area – have since been buried.
In an interview with the B&FT, Madam Afoley Quaye said that currently the cause of the fish’s death is not known – but opined that the quality of water, lack of oxygen and general pollution could be contributing factors.
The ministry has also put an embargo on the farm, and personnel from the ministry have been dispatched to the area for monitoring.
The minister confirmed that samples of fish from the farm have been taken for testing to ascertain the cause of the incident. “We have written this to some laboratories, and we have taken samples of the fish to those laboratories to test them. We have also sent some out to Norway to also ascertain what actually happened.
“We have also taken samples of the water source as well as the feed that the fish consumed. This will help us to be able to tell exactly what happened, but at the moment the farm has been closed down. We have also written to the Inspector General of Police to beef-up security around the farm so that people will not trespass,” she added.
She urged the public not to be frightened by the situation, because the incident is an isolated one and the farms involved have since been quarantined.