The Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences of the University of Ghana has backed claims by the Fisheries Minister that the fishes which were washed ashore in the coastal areas of Ghana were stressed.

The Minister’s comment was met with mixed reaction with some Ghanaians mocking her for the statement.

However, in a statement, the department, which has conducted preliminary probe into the matter said: “Results from water quality analyses showed that most parameters required for life in the ocean were within acceptable limits, with the exception of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), which was significantly higher than expected”.

The statement further said: “This oxygen demand would most likely create a condition of stress on living organisms that depend on dissolved oxygen in the water body. It is interesting to note that a few days to the fish kills, there was a sudden drop in sea surface temperature as observed from satellite imageries over the coast from Cote d’Ivoire to Togo.

“This is most likely an indication of upwelled water from the bottom of the ocean, probably carrying low oxygen concentration. At this stage, we do not have any data on what triggered these incidents. It requires that an ocean monitoring programme is established as a matter of urgency”.

Several species of fishes were found littering the beaches of Ghana two weeks ago. The species included dolphins. The fisheries ministry is conducting investigations into the cause of the development. It has warned Ghanaians in fish consumption to be cautious of what they buy, and also dispatched officials to fish markets to stop the sale of the washed ashore fish.

Source: Ghana/

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