Marine Environment: NIMASA cautions communities against further harvesting of dead fishes, begins scientific investigations
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has advised against further harvesting of hoards of dead Crocker fishes washed ashore along coastal areas of some Nigerian Delta communities.
The coastal communities cut across states including Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta.
In a Marine Notice on Friday, April 24,2020, calling attention of owners, operators, masters, crew of fishing trawlers, artisan fishermen, and the public, the NIMASA Management urged people around those communities to avoid consuming that specie of fish concerned in the incident of dead fishes.
“The Agency wishes to advise the public and specifically the coastal fishermen/women operating along the mentioned areas of the contaminated fish on the human health, which may result in criminal liability for wilfully selling such dead fish to the public,” the Marine Notice states partly.
NIMASA however said it has commenced the necessary scientific investigations with relevant experts to identify the possibly cause(s) and get means of mitigating the impact of the incident.
As enshrined in the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007, and in compliance with the MARPOL Regulations and other relevant instruments aimed at protecting Nigeria’s marine environment, NIMASA is legally manadated to addresses issues partaining to marine environment protection.
There had been reports that communities along coastal communities in some Niger Delta states woke up some weeks ago to see hoards of dead fishes on the shorelines, and the situation was later escalated by a group of concerned youths in the area.
The youths including Godswill Jumbo, who is a journalist, Humphrey Buowari, Kelly Brown and Kindness Brown, disclosed their findings in a report after they visited Finima Town, Amariari, Lighthouse, River 7, Agaja, Uku-Mbi, Mbisu 1, Mbisu 2, and Ifoko communities in Rivers State.