The Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana has revealed that fish farmers situated along the Volta Lake have incurred significant losses, estimated at ₵46 million, due to the release of water from the Akosombo Dam.
The Volta River Authority initiated the opening of the dam as a preventive measure to safeguard the hydroelectric power plant from potential damage resulting from rising water levels.
The Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana is expressing deep concern about the adverse effects of this recent water release on its members. The spillage has led to extensive damage to the assets and investments of cage farmers operating in the vicinity of the Volta Lake.
“Over 500 cages have been destroyed. Cage Farmers are losing their livestock fish stock, brood stocks and fingerlings. Some Hatcheries situated close to the Volta River bank have been submerged,” the chamber said in a statement.
The Chamber reports that numerous members and other cage farmers operating along the Volta River have suffered substantial losses, with their investments amounting to approximately ₵46 million being adversely impacted by the Akosombo Dam water release.
The Chamber further clarified that the ongoing spillage has led to the complete destruction of fish farming assets, washing them away to the estuary at Ada, rendering them irreparable.
In light of this situation, the chamber has issued a plea to the government and relevant stakeholders, urging them to extend assistance to the fish farmers who have been affected by this recent spillage.
“The Chamber of Aquaculture Ghana is also calling on the government, the sector Ministry, stakeholders, and other supporting agencies to come to the aid of fish farmers affected by the recent spillage. We would therefore encourage fish farmers to subscribe to aquaculture insurance which could have absorbed some of the losses they have incurred,” it read.
It further advised the Volta River Authority on prudent measures going forward to minimise the damage to cage farms on the Volta Lake.
“The Chamber is also calling on the Volta River Authority to use the various media outlets and other platforms to constantly announce to its stakeholders, the volume of water being spilled as this will enable cage farmers to adequately prepare and put in place measures that will mitigate the impact of the spillage,” it said.
The Chamber also made an appeal to cage farmers to exercise due care to protect their investment.
“We would therefore encourage fish farmers to subscribe to aquaculture insurance which could have absorbed some of the losses they have incurred.”
Cage farmers are being encouraged to make adjustments to their anchors in order to secure their cages more effectively.
“In addition to anchoring the cages, cage farmers are encouraged to constantly monitor the activities of the Volta River Authority in order to prevent any unaware situation that will cause further havoc to assets and investments. Cage Farmers should fix floats or barrels around cages to minimize the direct impact of the fast-moving water currents. Additionally, Cage Farmers along Volta Lake should avoid stocking their cages to prevent further loss of investments, harvest matured fish before further spillage is executed, and ensure that feeders and divers are constantly observing the state of affairs of the nets and debris trapped.”