Tilapia imports banned due to unknown virus

BY: Graphic.com.gh

Ghana has announced a ban on the importation of Tilapia into the country following the emergence of a new virus, Tilapia Lake Virus (TilV), which is causing significant deaths in farmed tilapia species.

Importation of ornamental fishes, mostly used as pets in homes have also been banned as the virus has been found in them, a statement from the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development said.

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The ban takes effect from this Sunday July 1.

The statement, signed by the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry, Prof Francis K. E. Nunoo, said the virus which has no known cure has been found in tilapia farms across Africa, Asia and South America.

The statement said the ban covers both live and dead ornamental fishes and tilapia species, including gametes-eggs and milt.

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The ban, it explained, is one of the immediate actions being taken by the Ministry “to help prevent and control the virus since its treatment is not known”.

It said the Ministry will follow up with capacity building and awareness creation programmes at different levels to farmers, hatchery operators, extension officers and consumers to support implementation of simple farm level biosecurity programmes.

“Consumers and stakeholders are therefore advised to report any issues arising or related to this issue (the virus) to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development,” it said and assured the public of updates of any development in due course.

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