The Marine Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the Fisheries Commission (FC) in the Western Region have commenced investigations into the recent death of fishes in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region.
Over 80 mammals suspected to be melon-headed whales were April 4, 2021 washed ashore at Brewire and Ankobra beaches.
There were speculations that the cause of death of the mammals could be that they were accidentally caught in tuna purse seine nets, underwater noise due to acoustic surveys.
It is also believed they might veer into areas not conducive to their survival such as feeding and breeding grounds or pollution from heavy metal and man-made chemical concentrations.
Meanwhile, residents say most of the reported dead mammals have gone missing in an attempt to cash in from the situation by some recalcitrant residents without recourse to the cause of their death.
It is against this background that the Marine Police Unit and the Fisheries Commission have commenced swift and detailed investigations into the incident to ascertain the facts leading to the death of the mammals.
According to the Commission in a press statement, preliminary observation on the fishes showed no wound whereas the colour of the sea and temperature are normal.
Seawater samples have been collected from the beaches to assist with the investigations, while examinations would be carried out on the fish gills and other histological examinations would equally be conducted on them to ascertain any pathological cause.
The seawater samples collected will therefore be analyzed for physical, chemical, and other biological parameters.
The statement also assured the public that the Commission would work hard to ascertain the actual cause of mortality of the fishes and therefore called on them to desist from consuming such products since the cause of death of these sea creatures has not been established.
It also urged the community members to keep calm and collaborate with authorities and environmentalists to ascertain the cause of the incident.
It further called for greater public awareness and education on the importance of marine mammals in the ocean and how communities should help protect them.