A team of experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Fisheries Commission has released 38 of the dolphins that were washed ashore at Axim-Bewire last Sunday back into the sea.
However, 25 of the marine mammals that were found dead in the communities have been buried.
Officials said an estimated 120 dolphins were washed ashore alive, but they were weak and unable to swim back to their habitat.
Some people picked 29 of the sea mammals to the communities but a search found all of them dead.
Consequently, 25 of the carcasses were buried, while four were taken to the University of Cape Coast for examination.
Back into sea
The rest of the dolphins, according to the team, could not be accounted for.
Besides, the heads, tails and pieces of dismembered parts of nine dolphins were picked along the shores of Axim- Bewire, with the suspicion being that the other parts had found their way into the communities.
Based on that, officials had to stay late into the night last Sunday, with the view to picking up any person who would, under the cover of darkness, go to process the mammals either for consumption or sale.
The acting Western Regional Director of Fisheries, Mr Arafat Alhassan, said for now, they had buried what they were able to retrieve from the community.
Apart from the dolphins, large numbers of other fish species were also washed up on beaches in Accra, necessitating investigations by the authorities.
Experts noticed that there were 10 species of small dead pelagic and demersal fishes at Osu.
Officials of the FDA, the Marine Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the Fisheries Commission had appealed to coastal communities in the Nzema East area to volunteer information on the whereabouts of the remaining mammals.
Mr Alhassan said the Fisheries Commission and other members of the team from sister agencies faced fierce resistance from community members in the team's quest to take over the marine animals.
He said the police intercepted some of the dolphins loaded onto a truck.
“We found out that some were alive and we released them, but the people caught them back and tied them to canoes but they died the next day,” he said.
Mr Alhassan said dolphins in the country's waters were one of the highly protected marine mammals and his outfit had, on many occasions, educated fishermen and coastal communities on the need to protect the mammals.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|