SPEAKER: Mr. Babalola Sherifdeen
Date: 22nd of April 2020
Platform: Instagram Live video
Case study: Continuous death of fishes reported along the Atlantic coastline in Bayelsa
Death of fishes along the Atlantic coastline in communities in Bayelsa and Niger-Delta (shores of Bonny-Andoni and other Ijaw communities) region have been reported continuously since March 2020.
At first there were rumors that there might be a leakage, but for cases like this can not to be established on rumors.
As a result of the continuous incident, the youths of Bonny-Andoni created a team and they investigated on the event for two days (15th – 16th April 2020). They were able to detect that some of these fishes are active early in the morning after been washed on shore, some are seen jumping out of the water, just one particular species of fish was affected, the fish begins to rot from the tail upward till the head. When these fishes are being process, it takes longer time to dry and scatters after processing. This in turn makes them inedible for consumption as it can result to fish poisoning.
In order to probe further and detect the main cause of the incident, two organizations collaborated; Living Science Foundation and AdasiScience Environmental Monitoring Team created a team of Eco-toxicologists to investigate the case. The team was led by Prof Olaniyi Komolafe from the Department of Zoology in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and Dr Chukwuka Victor from the University of Ibadan. The team postulated 3 causes;
- Chemical pollution: maybe caused by chemical pollutants, but this would have affected more than one species in the water body not just one species or species specific
- Environmental disorder: maybe caused by a drastic change in the normal environmental water body with time. This might be a close cause because the fishes were seen jumping out of the water. For the fishes to be seen jumping out of the water it means the environment was not favorable for them, maybe the one of the physico-chemical (pH, dissolved oxygen etc.) parameter of the water is bad.
- Infection: maybe bacterial infection.
TALK OF THE DAY
The real cause of this incident has not been defined yet.
ACTION TAKEN AMIDST THE EVENT
- Samples of the fishes have been taken to a laboratory in Port-Harcourt
- Government has ordered the ban of sales and consumption of Croaker fish in Bayelsa.
LAPSES THAT HAVE PROMOTED THE INCIDENT
- Weak enforcement government laws and regulations guiding water bodies in Nigeria.
- Weak assessment of the physiochemical parameters of water bodies in Nigeria.
- Anthropogenic activities; oil spillage, pollution from runoffs (agricultural sources).
- Depletion of the water body.
- Decaying of the fish can lead to reduction in dissolve oxygen.
- It can lead to extinction of the affected species and other species.
- Continuous water body clean up to reduce or eradicate the effects of pollutants in the water body.
- Strong enforcement of laws and policies guiding the water bodies in Nigeria.
- Developing and establishing initiatives to engage in sustainable management and development of the aquatic world.