Regional News of Thursday, 12 July 2012
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) has banned fishing and farming activities in and around Butuah Lagoon estuary at New Takoradi.
A release issued from the Public Relations Unit of the assembly on Thursday said the ban is the result of a report by the Environmental Protection Agency after the analysis of water, sediment and fish samples collected from the lagoon following the death of large quantity of fish in the lagoon in September last year.
According to the report, the death of the fishes was due to pollution of the lagoon with paraquat toxicity, which is a "Highly toxic herbicide with immediate acute effects and long term chronic effects on human health and the environment".
It said further chemical analysis on fish, water and sediment collected from the lagoon in April this year by the Ghana Standards Authority still show appreciable levels of paraquat with all samples exceeding the international guideline for surface or drinking water.
"Judging from the analytical results and the potential health implications associated with consumption of water and fish from the lagoon, the Assembly hereby entreat the...public to desist from engaging with any fishing and farming activities on or closer to the lagoon to forestall any future effects on human health and the environment," the release said.
"The Assembly will arrest and prosecute anybody found to be acting contrary to this directive in accordance with the Assembly's bye-laws and other relevant laws and regulations of the state."**