Beach restaurants (in the background) serving tilapia, near Accra, Ghaana
The Ghanaian Aquaculture Association (GAA) has said tilapia produced in the country is safe for consumption, after a six-month ban on tilapia imports issued by the government and applying from July 1 hit local consumption of the species, Ghana Business News reported.
“We want to assure the fish eating public of this country that your locally produced tilapia fish is healthy and absolutely safe to consume with no risk whatsoever to anybody’s health.”
Peter Angelo Habib, GAA’s executive director, said tilapia lake virus was not present in Ghana. “There is no scientific evidence that the virus is transferable to humans if they eat tilapia fish,” Habib added.
Ghana’s ministry of fisheries and aquaculture development previously said the six-month ban is an immediate measure to help prevent and control the virus, a newly emerging issue that is associated with significant mortalities in farmed tilapia with cases reported across Africa, Asia, and South America.
Tilapia lake virus is associated with significant mortality in farmed fish and symptoms of infected fish including reddened skin, inflammation of organs and eyes and brain, liver damage leading to death and results in 80 to 90% of deaths.
Meanwhile, the country’s importers and exporters association said it is unhappy with the government’s decision to ban tilapia imports, Ghana Web reported.