This was made known at a workshop in Accra to discuss the preliminary findings of the study conducted in the Western Region where Ghana’s oil and gas is being explored in commercial quantities.
Dean A. Slocum, President of Acorn International, said the independent study assessed the potential impacts by offshore oil and gas industry to the marine environment and it covered areas such as fishery and fishing, whales, Algal/Sargasso, Tarballs, coastal socio-economic conditions and marine environmental conditions.
He said the dead whales that recently washed ashore in the Region were decomposed, an indication they did not die at Ghana’s territorial waters and might have died in neighboring countries such as Cote d’ Ivoire and Liberia who are also exploring oil, and washed ashore in Ghana’s territory.
The study however recommended the further study of marine noise impact on the lives of whales.
The study also revealed that the reduction of fish stocks could not be blamed on oil and gas activities but rather over fishing.
It recommended the strengthening of capacity for governance of fishing activities.
According to the study there is no credible evidence to suggest that oil and gas activities is causing increase in algae and sargassum.
With regards to marine environmental condition, the study revealed that even though there is no oil spillage in the country, there is the possibility that it could occurred.
The study revealed that there have been community benefits as a result of oil and gas activities and recommended continuous improvement to promote local content.
Participants at the workshop in discussing the study said it was imperative that a laboratory test was carried on the death whales to be able to confirm whether their death was caused by oil and gas activities or otherwise.
Kojo Agbenor-Efunam, Deputy Director Oil/Gas at the Environmental Protection Agency said, the Agency has acquired a research vessel and would in collaboration with the Marine Police go to the field to conduct research with regards to the activities of oil and gas exploration and its effects.