Scientists at the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences of the University of Ghana (UG), have shared their preliminary findings over investigations carried into the dead melon-headed whales washed ashore Ghana’s coasts in some coastal communities in the country.
In a press release dated April 11, 2021, the Department noted that results from water quality analysis showed that most parameters required for life in the ocean were within acceptable limits “with the exception of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) which was significantly higher than expected.”
Noting that it did not as at the moment have data on what triggered the washing ashore of the melon-headed whales, the sudden drop in sea surface temperature as observed from satellite imageries could be a possible cause as the low oxygen demand would most likely create a condition of stress on living organisms that depend on dissolved oxygen in water bodies.
“With regards to the possibility of an incidence of harmful algal bloom, we did not observe phytoplankton abundance to be at the level to cause a bloom,” the Department added in the statement.
An algae bloom is when a few species of algae produce toxins that result in fish kills. Fish kills due to algae blooms are as a result of decreased oxygen levels.
Read details of press statement below: