Over 80 mammals suspected to be melon-headed whales were on Sunday, April 4, 2021, sighted at the shore of Axim-Bonwire beach in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region.
This incident follows a similar one on Friday, April 2, 2021, when large species of fishes were spotted dead at the coastline of Osu and Keta.
Sources say most of the reported dead mammals have gone missing while processed dolphins now attract high market prices.
The Oil and Gas Programme Coordinator, of the Friends of the Nation, Solomon Kusi Ampofo, in an interview with Ghananest.com said the mammals are suspected to be Melon headed whales.
He said, melon-headed whales, also, less commonly, known as the electra dolphin, little killer whale, or many-toothed blackfish, is a small- to medium-sized toothed whale of the oceanic dolphin family. The common name is derived from the head shape.
Mr. Ampofo mentioned three possible causes that might have caused the incident.
They include; accidentally caught in tuna purse seine nets, underwater noise due to acoustic surveys including seismic interrupting their normal behaviour and driving them away from areas important to their survival, such as feeding and breeding grounds and pollution from heavy metal and man-made chemical concentrations.
Mr. Kusi Ampofo has called for a swift and detailed investigations to ascertain the cause.
He urged the communities to keep calm and collaborate with authorities and environmentalists to ascertain the cause of the incident.
He admonished the communities members to desist from harvesting and consuming marine mammals.
He called for greater public awareness and education on the importance of these marine mammals in the oceans and how communities should help protect them.
EPA cautions the public
In view of this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cautioning the general public to desist from consuming such products since the cause of death of these sea creatures has not been established.
Meanwhile, the Marine Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the Fisheries Commission have commenced investigations to ascertain the facts leading to the death of the mammals.
Again, seawater samples have been collected from the beaches to assist with the investigations.
According to the Commission in a press statement, preliminary observation on the fishes showed no wound.
Examinations will be carried out on the fish gills and other histological examinations will equally be conducted to ascertain any pathological cause.
The seawater samples collected will be analyzed for physical, chemical, and other biological parameters.
“The colour of the sea and temperature are normal. We assure everyone that we are working hard to ascertain the actual cause of mortality of the fish,” parts of the statement indicated.
Source: Ghana|Ghananest.com|Matthew Dadzie