Western Region Director of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Abu Sumaila has cautioned the general public against the consumption of salted fish commonly known as “Kako” for the next one month.
“Please those of us who love Kako, let us suspend the consumption for the next one month.”
His caution comes after a pod of dolphins were mysteriously washed onto the shores of Brawire in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region on Sunday.
Hundreds of residents of Brawire and surrounding communities, without any consideration to the possible health implications of the “invasion of the dolphins, thronged the beach to collect them for sale.
Not even the pleas of community leaders including the National Chairperson of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Nana Akosua Frimpongmaa Sarpong Kumah Kumah, who was on a working visit to the area, will deter the charged residents as they had retorted to her that “ this is a harvest from God following months of no catch from several fishing expeditions”.
In a matter of hours, a number of the aquatic mammals were reportedly sold for between GH¢300 and GH¢400 a piece.
Close to some residencies at the beach, some of the dolphins had been slaughtered with some parts missing, an indication that perhaps they are being prepared for the market.
“Once in a while, one or two of the dolphins will be washed ashore. Those who happen to be at the shore at that material time will catch it and prepare it for the market as Kako. But these ones that came are so different,” a worried resident had told 3news on Monday.
But speaking on the Tuesday, April 6 edition of Connect FM‘s midday news “Orekodo”, Mr. Sumaila explained that the dolphins are not edible and pleaded with residents to return any in their possession.
“When we visited Brawire, we realised that many of the dolphins had been taken away. At a spot close to the beach, we also saw about six heads and other parts and our suspicion was that they have been prepared and possibly sent somewhere to be sold. So we quickly engaged the local media to make announcement that anyone in possession of the mammal or its parts return them as it cannot be eaten.”
He said a team is currently moving from one market to the other in an attempt to retrieve any dolphin or parts that may have found their way onto the market.
“That is why we are encouraging people not to patronise Kako while we carry out this investigation. We also believe that when there is no market for it those who sell them they may be forced to expose those who still have some in their possession since their business may be affected due to the lack of patronage”.
He indicated that so far they have not come across any of the dolphins or its parts on the markets they have visited.
Mr. Sumaila indicated that samples of the dolphins have been taken to Accra for investigation.
On Sunday, CPP’s National Chairperson Nana Akosua Frimpongmaa Sarpong Kumah Kumah, who was on a working visit to the Nzema East Municipal Assembly, chanced on the “spectacle”.
Alarmed by the possible health consequences on the community, she bought close to 40 of the dolphins that were alive and being evacuated by the residents with the intention to help ferry them back into the deep sea.
Unfortunately, there was no boat to do that.
When they finally had a boat the next day, only five were still alive with the remaining dead.
With the help of the Municipal Assembly, the Fisheries Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drugs Authority and residents, close to 30 of the dolphins have been buried.
According to reports, some of the residents are calling authorities and showing them where some of the mammals are for onward burial.
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