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22 August 2017

Don’t eat ‘poisonous’ Puffer fish – Fisheries Commission

The Fisheries Commission has warned Ghanaians against eating any product on the market made with the Puffer fish due to its poisonous nature.

This follows reports from the Volta Region that four people had died after consuming the puffer fish while several others were hospitalized.

The Head of Fish Health Unit of the Fisheries Commission, Dr Peter Ziddah in an interview with Citi News urged the public to be extra careful when it comes to the Puffer fish as it is even more poisonous than Cyanide (sodium or potassium cyanide used as a poison or in the extraction of gold and silver).

He also said the Commission has not given anyone the clearance to sell the puffer fish to the public.

He said “what happened with regards to the puffer fish in the Volta Region is purely a public health issue. We need to warn people about what to eat and what not to eat.”

“In this case we are talking about processing, people need to learn how to process their catches before eating. The Puffer fish is more poisonous than cyanide. You need some special skills to be able to process that fish to eat,” Dr Ziddah added.

“Like in Asia before you sell this fish you are certified, here who certifies who? We don’t certify people to sell this fish so for the public I would advise they should just go off it, not buy it at all and don’t eat it because you don’t know where it is coming from,” he stated.

Education on Poisonous Puffer to Intensify
The Food and Drugs Authority a few days ago said that it is in talks with the Ministry of Fisheries and other agencies to intensify the education on the dangers of consuming the said fish.

When he spoke to Citi News’, James Lartey, the Public Relations Officer for the Authority said the FDA officers “together with the fisheries department in the Volta Region and the Municipal Assembly embarked on an exercise where they visited a number of markets and all the markets they went to did not have any sample of that fish.”

“According to our officer, the women at the market were saying they know it to be it’s a poisonous fish so it is not a fish that is sold there. I was told they were already aware of that particular fish but there is the need for further education so I am sure when they meet, they will be able to trash all these things and strategize on communications so they will be able to better inform the people on that fish,” Mr. Lartey said.

It still remains unclear how the fish may have contributed to the said deaths, however, some residents have attributed it to the ill-preparation of the fish before consumption.

By: Rita Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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