Ghana has imposed a ban on the importation of all tilapia fish effective July 1, 2018.
The West African nation is hoping the ban will help prevent the outbreak of the Tilapia Lake Virus.
Ghana’s Fisheries ministry in a statement on Wednesday said virus has “been reported across Africa, Asia and South America.”
It said the virus “represents a huge risk to the global tilapia industry.”
Tilapia Lake Virus (TilV)
The Tilapia Lake Virus (TilV) has no cure. It is a virus that infects populations of tilapia.
The virus is responsible for decimation of some populations and was only discovered recently.
Nature of ban
The ban is to last for six-months. It will affect importation of “ornamental fishes and tilapia species (live or dead).”
The ban will also affect importation of “gametes-eggs and milt into” Ghana.
The fisheries ministry said it will “follow up with capacity building and awareness creation programmes”
These programmes will take place “at different levels to farmers, hatchery operators, extension officers, and consumers and the general public.”
Fishing industry in Ghana
Ghana’s coastal areas are known for fishing which many families depend on.
Illegal fishing methods have led to the depletion of fish stock in the country.
Fish farming has become the alternative to providing stocks for the market but that is on a small scale.
Tilapia is popular in Ghana and served with all kinds of food.