Health News of Tuesday, 3 June 2014
A former Deputy Fisheries Minister, Aquinas Quansah, has denied reports that Ghanaians are at risk of diseases due to the illegal methods fishermen use in fishing.
The Daily Graphic Newspaper in a publication on Monday warned Ghanaians to be weary of the fish they consume because fishermen in Lower Axim in the Western Region have been using chemicals such as DDT to increase their catch.
The newspaper also quoted the chief fisherman in the area as confirming the practice.
But Mr. Quansah has described the newspaper reports as conjecture because “we called the chief fisherman [Lower Axim] and he said nobody even interviewed him, so he didn’t give that information to anybody; so seriously, I don’t know where that story is coming from.”
The former Deputy Minister expressed grave concern about the report because according to him, such reports paint an unfavourable picture about Ghana’s fisheries industry to the international market.
He said the European Union (EU) is not purchasing any fish from Ghana “because of these things, and we had a problem with the FAO [Food and Agricultural Organization] on the same issue.”
These two bodies upon further checks into the matter cleared Ghana of any malpractices in its fishing industry on Friday, 30th May, 2014.
“We wake up on Monday and this story is in the newspapers…and trust me, either Times [Ghanaian Times] or the Daily Graphic didn’t do any checks from the Ministry on whether we have received any such information on that or not. They just went ahead and published.”
Such reportage Mr. Quansah is convinced will kill the fishing industry “but I can tell you for sure that in Ghana, now our fish is very, very wholesome.”
He disclosed that in Ministry, a Fisheries Enforcement Unit was inaugurated to patrol the landing beaches to “randomly test the fish for any chemical.”
The Marine Police are also patrolling the seas to prevent the fishermen from engaging in such illegal fishing methods.