In response to reports on the sudden appearance of dead fishes along the shorelines of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has ruled out oil spillage as the cause of the deaths, adding that it is awaiting results of the analyses on samples of fish.
In a release signed by Idris Musa, Director General/Chief Executive of NOSDRA, the agency of the Ministry of Environment said it has carried out a reconnaissance of the area in Delta State where it first got the report through a member of a non-governmental organisation.
According to Musa, “There was no incidence of oil spill within the area of reported dead fishes notwithstanding that a few dead fishes were seen along the shoreline.
“The event of recent days where the death of fishes in large numbers occurred, made it expedient to look beyond oil spillage as the likely cause of the death of fishes in such number. The Agency proceeded to collect sample of water, sediments and some of the dead fishes for laboratory testing. In doing so, the Agency
brought on board other relevant Agencies of Government that equally have mandates on our territorial waters particularly, 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 an all hands on deck assessment of the possible cause(s) of the death of the fishes in such large numbers.”
The NOSDRA boss added that, “Currently, the analyses are being carr1ed 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.
Concluding Musa stated that “It is equally important to reiterate that, avoidance of serious incidents like this, accounts for why there is a limitation to the use of chemical dispersants regulat1on that prescribes the conditions and where such could be used in our water bodies.”
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