Fish sellers in Accra Central Business District are mournful that, news of “fish mortality” will ‘destroy’ their market.
This followed the discovery of large numbers of different species of fish washed ashore along the coasts of Osu in Accra, Axim-Bewire in the Nzema Municipality of the Western Region, and Keta in the Volta Region, over the weekend.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Food and Drug Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other sector agencies are investigating the cause of the “fish mortality” and cautioned against its consumption, sale, and presence in the Ghanaian food chain.
In an interaction with some traders in Accra, Ms. Lydia Botwe, a fish seller, said the incident could have a repercussion on their business because people would hesitate to purchase smoked sliced fishes if they are not sure of the sources.
A 45-year-old fishmonger said until the investigations are over, their business would slow further down after COVID-19 had thrown it almost out of gear.
Mrs. Abigail Shia, another fish seller, said anytime such reports come out, the fish industry suffered heavily, though they would not sell fishes they are not sure of.
“I am scared because I do not know whether fishes were poisoned or not and I wouldn’t want to put the lives of my customers at risk. Since I was born, I have never seen anything like this before, this is very strange.
“Fishes, especially the big ones are been eschewed in the market for some days now. So even if we get some soon, people will be scared to buy them because they might suspect that they could be from the washed ashore source,” she lamented.
Meanwhile, some consumers said they are staying away from large fishes that are sliced and smoked on the market for a period.
Mr. Kofi Ansah, a dealer in mobile phone accessories, said his religion does not allow him to consume dead fish, however, he believes there is nothing wrong with the fishes and that they might have been killed with the torches thrown at them by fishermen.
Mrs. Margaret Afia, a middle-aged woman, said she would only use dried fish when it comes to her notice that such fishes are off the market.
“We all know that every fish we consume is harvested by our fishermen, so how can we consume fishes that no one knows what killed them,” she said.
For Mrs. Faustina Amoabeng, she sees nothing wrong with consuming fishes washed ashore.
“When you go to buy fish, you don’t wait to see the fish alive and in motion before you buy it. Sometimes we purchase fishes that have been in the fridge for months without knowing how they died. Are they all not dead fishes?
“Maybe it is God who has seen the hardships we are going through as a country and has decided to bless us with the fishes for food,” she said.