The Chinese-owned farm at Asutuare where large quantities of tilapia fish mysteriously died in October, has been ordered to close down.
This follows the revocation of the environmental permit issued the company, China Fujian Fishing (GH) Limited.
The company was issued with an Environmental Permit No. CA 577/01/17 dated March 15, 2017 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to operate that aquaculture facility at Asutuare in the Greater Accra Region.
“Investigations conducted by the Agency into the operations of the Company revealed that the company faded to comply with the conditions of the Agency’s Environmental Permit,” a public notice published by the EPA in the Daily Graphic on Friday stated.
Large quantities of the fish, said to be about 18,000 tonnes, were in October destroyed by the China Fujian Fishing at a site outside the farm premises in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region.
Various laboratory tests on the fish proved negative of them dying from poisonous materials. This led to the government clearing the farm of any wrong doing and paving way for it to start operation.
But the Environmental Protection Agency that said the company failed to comply with the Environmental Permit has with immediate effect directed it to:
- Cease all production operation with immediate effect
- Evacuate and destroy all strains of Tilapia in the facility
- Evacuate all fish cages from the Lower Volta River within twenty-eight (28) days from the date of the revocation letter (February 5, 2019).
According to the Agency, the evacuation should be completed by March 8, 2019.
EPA took the decision based on Regulation 26 of the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (LI 1652) which states:
- (1) The Agency may suspend, cancel or revoke an environmental permit or certificate issued under these Regulations where the holder of the permit or certificate
a. fails to obtain any other authorisation required by law in relation to his undertaking before commencement of operations;
b. is in breach of any provision of these Regulations or any other enactment relating to environmental assessment;
c. fails to make any payments required under these Regulations on the due date
d. acts in breach of any of the conditions to which his permit or certificate is subject; or
e. fails to comply with mitigation commitments in his assessment report or environmental management plan.
(2) The Agency may also suspend an environmental permit or certificate in the event of occurrence of fundamental change~ in the environment due to natural causes before or during the implementation of the undertaking; and upon such change the environmental assessment report and the environmental management plan shall be revised on the basis of the new environmental condition.