16th Whale Buried, EPA Blamed

IMG_6273The sixteenth liveless whale to be washed ashore along the country’s beach, within the past five years, was yesterday buried near Nkontompo, in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, in the Western Region.

Residents of the area woke up last morning to see a marine mammal lying by the beach with a bad odour emanating from it.

Its bad state suggested it might have died several days earlier. Two of the mammals were found dead, this week, at the Asanta and Kikam beaches, in the Jomoro and Ellembelle districts, respectively, in the Western Region.

Another was found at the Kokrobite beach in the Ga South municipality on Sunday afternoon.
Unconfirmed reports suggested the mammals might have collided with machines at sea, located at various drilling sites.

Mr Emmanuel Ohene Marfo, the Western Regional Deputy Fisheries Officer has blamed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the mishap.

He claimed the oil companies did not perform any Fisheries Impact Assessment before starting drilling as the law required, and chided the EPA for failing to perform its duty.

According to Mr Marfo, some possible deaths of marine life in the area could be as a results of mammals colliding with vessels and propellers, excessive noise in the salt water, parasite infestation and normal death.

He appealed to the EPA and oil companies to conduct the Fisheries Impact Assessment in order to protect the country’s marine resources.

The Ghanaian Times gathered that other human activities suggested by marine biologists to adversely impact whale population include poisoning by waste contaminants and the unregulated use of fishing gear that catches anything that finds it way into it.

Whales spend up to 90 per cent of their lives under water, only surfacing briefly to breathe and believed to be one of the largest animals, on the planet.

Many cultures, even those that have hunted these endangered mammals hold them in awe and feature them in their mythologies. - Peter Gbambila-Nkotompo

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