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Standards Authority to Enforce Ban on Tilapia Import

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The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has said it would enforce the ban on the importation of Tilapia and all ornamental fishes.

This decision follows an earlier announcement by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aqua Culture Development (MoFAD) to tackle the emerging tilapia late virus.

Cases of the virus have been reported across some parts of Africa, Asia and South America threatened the global tilapia industry.

Speaking on Citi FM, yesterday, the Executive Director of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo said the outfit would ensure that no life is lost due to the virus.

“Tilapia is probably the most widely cultivated fish in the world. this virus was discovered by some Israelis not too long ago and the sad thing is that if it is introduced into any fish farm, usually will kill every fish. The issue is food security. If it is introduced into Ghana, we are finished,” he said.

According to Prof. Dodoo, the ban is a sensible move, taking into consideration efforts by fish farmers to increase productivity and to boost the progress of the industry.

Though may have expressed fear over the announcement, the Ghana National Association of Fish Pond Farmers, say there is no cause for alarm.

In a statement signed by the association’s chairman, Mr. Jacob Quainoo Ansah, there is no need for fear since the the research which identified the virus had not recorded any effect on humans after the consumption of infected Tilapia.

“The measures are a wake-up call to fish farmers to practice more hygiene at their farms to prevent diseases. All farming activities are liable to diseases and the association is prepared to work with government to improve on practices as the industry prepares to increase production of farmed fish,” the statement read.

It continued: “Disease free tilapia are produced from farms spread across the country and consumers are assured of quality Tilapia. Nonetheless we call on all fish farmers to report any disease symptoms of tilapia observed on the farms promptly to the offices of the fisheries commission around the country and also inform the association.”

MoFAD placed a ban on all imports of tilapia and ornamental fishes, dead or alive including gametes-eggs and milt into the country effect from July, 1 to December 31, 2018.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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