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Fish dying in home to 90 percent of Ghana's aquaculture production

Staff Writer | December 19, 2018
Fish farmers in Ghana are calling for government action to stem significant fish mortalities in Lake Volta, home to 90 percent of the country’s aquaculture production.
Lake Volta
Africa   Over 100 tonnes of tilapia have been lost
Over 100 tonnes of tilapia have been lost by cage farmers since mid-November, and there are signs that this may continue, which could put a dent in government ambitions to double the country’s aquaculture production to 100,000 tonnes a year.

Previous reports have focused on the presence of Streptococcus agalactiae as the cause of these mortalities.

However, Ridgeway Biologicals, a UK-based vaccine producer, has identified over seven additional pathogens on Lake Volta known to cause mortality in tilapia. There is certainly alarm across the aquaculture value chain, and urgent steps will have to be taken.

On December 12 Kwame Safo of the Ghana Aquaculture Association called on the government to provide vaccines urgently to deal with high mortality levels.

He also asked for government intervention to deal with the “dodgy practices of some farmers” on the lake, which could be causing this problem – with some farms recording moralities as high as 30 percent. They feared that if urgent action was not taken, the problem would spread to other farms.

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture is preparing to mount a National Tilapia Vaccination Programme to deal with the fish diseases.