Health & Lifestyle

Health risk: Fishermen in Lower Axim use DDT for fishing

Fishermen in Lower Axim in the Western Region have resorted to the use of DDT, carbide, dynamite and light for fishing.
The result is that most of the fishes are brought ashore dead and discolored, with broken flesh and sunken eyes, which indicates that they are not fresh.
People fear that the practice may be widespread along the west coast of the country.
According to the Chief Fisherman at Lower Axim, Nana Kojo Eshun, the fishermen usually use light to attract the fish, while DDT, carbide and dynamite are used to increase the catch.
Apart from that obvious health implications for fish consumers and processors, the practice is also deepening poverty among fishermen and fishmongers, largely women, as the quality and quantity of fish is adversely affected after smoking.
Fishmonger Madam Hannah Donkor said: “The fish caught using light are okay but the ones by chemicals are creating a lot of problems for us.”
She said some of the fishmongers had incurred huge debts as a result and explained that the dynamite and carbide methods of fishing caused fishes to rot soon after they are caught.
According to Madam Donkor, fish caught with such chemicals also breaks into pieces when exposed to smoke and heat, affecting prices and sales.
The use of chemicals such as DDT and carbide poses a serious health hazard to fish consumers. Some of the chemicals have had adverse effects on the fingers of some fishmongers.
Health experts say eating food with large amounts (in grammes) of DDT over a short time will most likely affect the nervous system.
Source: Graphic

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