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Oysters under Threat in Whin Estuary – Research Reveals

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Incessant human activity is threatening the survival of aquatic life in the Whin Estuary in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, a new research has shown.

The year-long research conducted in 2016 by a Lecturer at the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Development Studies (UDS), Ms. Sandra Atindana, shows that many sewage outlets from nearby communities ended up in the estuary, posing serious threat to aquatic species especially oysters.

Other harmful activities the research found out included uncontrolled cutting of mangroves along the banks of the river, dumping of refuse into the estuary, siltation and farming.

According to the research, the situation has resulted in the estuary recording high levels of harmful chemicals above the prescribed limits of the World Health Organization (WHO).

For example, the testing of Lead recorded 17.08 milligrams per liter (mg/L) as against the WHO limit of 0.01mg/L while that of Iron showed 0.77mg/L as against WHO’s 0.3mg/L limit.

That apart, the quantity of Cadmium was also pegged at 0.005mg/L, a little above the WHO recommended limit of 0.003mg/L.

Addressing a multi-stakeholder meeting at the end of her research in Takoradi, Ms. Atindana said the harmful activities were not only degrading the environment but were also threatening food security.

She explained that oysters could be one of the major solutions to food insecurity in the south-western coast of Ghana but said it was being threatened especially, in areas such as the Whin Estuary where it could reproduce in abundance to serve a larger population.

Dilating further on the theme: “Invisible fisheries, the solution to food security to south western coast of Ghana; land use activities affecting oyster abundance”, she said a critical look must be taken at the development to prevent a potential food insecurity situation from occurring.

She, therefore, called on both state and non-state actors to work hand-in-hand to protect and preserve the Whin Estuary to enable it serve its purpose.

Her call was corroborated by the Head of Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr. Noble Asare, who urged communities along the Whin River to become environmental watchdogs.

Source: Marlvin-James Dadzie, Takoradi





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