NOSDRA: Death of Fishes on N’Delta Shoreline Not Caused By Oil Spill

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Bennett Oghifo

National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has said a large number of fishes found dead on the shoreline of some communities in Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers states were not killed by oil spill pollution.

A statement from the office of NOSDRA’s Director General/CEO, yesterday, said when news broke recently of a large number of dead fishes on the shorelines of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states, it “carried out a reconnaissance of the area in Delta State where we first got the report through a member of a Non-Governmental Organisation. There was no incidence of oil spill within the area of reported dead fishes, notwithstanding that a few dead fishes were along the shoreline.”

The agency said samples of the dead fishes, water and sediments have been sent to a laboratory to ascertain the cause(s) of such incident.

The statement said, “Currently, the analyses are being carried out and our findings will be jointly considered by these relevant stakeholders to enable an appropriate solution, as well as put in place more stringent regulations in the future.”

NOSDRA also said it brought on board other relevant agencies of government that equally have mandates on the nation’s territorial waters, particularly the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), the Federal Institute of Fisheries Research and National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) “for all hands on deck assessment of the possible cause(s) of the death of the fishes in such large numbers.”

The statement said it was then expedient for them “to look beyond oil spillage as the likely cause of death of fishes in such number. The Agency proceeded to collect sample of water, sediments and some of the dead fishes for laboratory testing.”

The agency said it was equally important for it to reiterate that, avoidance of serious incidents like this, accounts for why there is a limitation to the use of chemical dispersants (used in oil spill situations) regulation “that prescribes the conditions and where such could be used in our water bodies.”

The agency said it would continue to strive for a liveable and sustainable environment in the country.